Dept. addresses available for those who want to send
condolences to officers. See below
to Fallen K-9s
F.A.S.T. Co. donates sets of memorial cards to all partners
need your help to inform me of such
In Loving Memory of
June 27, 2009
Handler: Officer Dan Lesser
Spokane Police Department
1100 W Mallon Ave
Spokane, Washington 99260
Recent photo of Var recovering after being shot in head on March 17,
K9 Var to get Purple Heart
Monday, April 27, 2009 at 6pm SPD K9 Var will receive the Purple
Heart Award at the beginning of the City Council Meeting. The
ceremony will be held in the Chase Gallery and is open to the
public. The Purple Heart is awarded to those officers who have been
injured in the line of duty. Var will be the first K9 in SPD
History to receive this award.
K9 Var, wounded in line of duty, passes away
K9 Officer Var, the German Shepherd who received the Purple
Heart after being wounded while chasing a suspect with his
partner this last March, passed away over the weekend. Var died
from complications over the weekend according to his former
partner, Officer Dan Lesser. "I was fortunate to get to sit with
him on Saturday," Lesser said in an e-mail Monday afternoon. "I
wanted to thank everyone for all of the support that they have
given. Var was an amazing dog and you don't realize all the good
that he has done and all the lives he has impacted."
Var was awarded the Purple Heart in late April after he was shot
and wounded twice by a thief he was following during a foot
pursuit with his partner Officer Lesser. He is the only K9 in
the police department's history to receive the award for being
wounded in the line of duty. He was wounded in action in March
while tracking 22-year-old Johnnie Longest during a nighttime
foot pursuit. Longest was tracked by Var when he tried to run
from police. During the foot pursuit Longest shot Var twice in
the face and leg. Var's partner returned fire and killed
Longest. At the time Var had been recalled from retirement to
active duty just three days before he was shot and wounded. He
underwent surgery for his wounds and returned to retirement, his
position on the force taken over by new K9 Rav ... which is Var
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA
In Loving Memory of
June 22, 2009
Officer Danny Sidders
Orlando Police Department Headquarters
100 South Hughey Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801-2501
Officer Had To Shoot Own Dog
Who Wouldn't Let Go
Orlando Department's Viper Injured During Pursuit
Orlando police dog was put down Monday after
the dog was accidentally struck by a patrol
car and attacked its own handler during a
chase, police said.
Officer Danny Sidders and his K9 Viper were
trying to capture two men running from a
stolen sport-utility vehicle when Sidders'
nearby patrol car rolled forward, critically
injuring the dog. As Sidders tried to pull a
third suspect out of the SUV, the dog, in
pain and confused, clamped his jaw onto his
After minutes of failed attempts to get
Viper to let go, Sidders was forced to shoot
and kill him, Jones said. "It's just sad
that the dog wouldn't listen to any
command," Jones said. Sidders suffered minor
injuries and was treated at Orlando Regional
Driver Nicholas J. Frederick, 19, was
arrested on counts of attempted homicide,
crimes against a police animal, larceny, and
other charges. Passenger Brian D. Haney, 18,
faces a count of larceny. A third occupant,
16, was taken to the juvenile detention
center on a misdemeanor count of resisting
an officer without violence.
The incident began at about 11 a.m., when a
police sergeant spotted a stolen SUV
eastbound on State Road 408 near Interstate
4, according to a police report. Officers
followed the truck off the southbound Rouse
Road exit to a dead end. Police tried to
stop the SUV, but Frederick rammed several
police vehicles, tried to run over an
officer and sped off, the report states.
Sidders caught up to the SUV after it
stopped at a Kangaroo Express gas station at
14902 East Colonial Dr. Sidders placed his
car in park, and both he and Viper jumped
out to chase Frederick and the juvenile, who
ran from the car, Jones said.
The patrol car slid into a culvert, hitting
Viper and critically injuring him. Sidders
noticed Haney was still in the SUV and tried
to pull him out. He didn't realize how badly
Viper was injured, Jones said, and ordered
the dog to help him. Instead, Viper clamped
his jaws on Sidders' arm and wouldn't let
go. Sidders euthanized him. Viper was 3 years old.
Sentinel Staff Writer Amy L. Edwards
contributed to this report.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA & Bobby E. Earls, ret.
K9 handler, FL
In Loving Memory
May 11, 2009
Handler: Officer Jarrod Ballard
Florence Police Department
425 N Pinal Pkwy
Florence, AZ 85232
personnel are grieving the death of a police dog who was found in her
car behind the police station Monday night.
Vysta, a 3
-1/2-year-old Czech shepherd, died in a police car specially designed for a
K-9 unit. The car had been running for approximately 40 minutes when the dog
was found deceased sometime between 7 and 8 p.m. The dog's partner was
Officer Jarrod Ballard.
"The bond between officers is strong, but in my experience the bond of
officers and their K-9 partners can be even stronger and deeper," said
Florence Police Chief Bob Ingulli. "My heart goes out to Officer Ballard.
All of us in FPD are in deep grief."
Ingulli asked the Arizona Department of Public Safety to investigate the
cause of death.
"When we lose one of our own, we grieve, we want to know what caused this
terrible tragedy," Ingulli said. "This is a difficult time for everyone in
the department. To us she was an officer, so we are doing exactly what we
would do for any other officer who died on duty."
submitted by Jim
Cortina, Dir. CPWDA
FOLLOW UP ------
State report doesn't specify police K-9's cause of death -
State police investigators
ruled out several potential causes of death for a Florence police dog,
but couldn't reach a conclusion as to what did cause the
apparently healthy K-9 to expire suddenly in the back of her handler's
patrol car on the evening of May 11. Vysta,
a 3 1/2-year-old Czech Shepherd, had formerly worked for Mammoth police
and had been with Florence since Oct. 15.
Her death stunned and saddened the Florence Police Department, and
Chief Bob Ingulli asked the Arizona Department
of Public Safety to investigate.
Vysta's Florence partner, Officer Jarrod Ballard, said Monday he had
been briefed on the DPS' findings but had not yet read the full report.
He said the report ruled out potential causes such as malnutrition,
dehydration, heatstroke, poisoning and "any wrongdoing on my part." The
dog had been sitting in a police cruiser, specially designed for her
safety, for approximately 40 minutes when Ballard found her
unresponsive. The air conditioning was on and blowing cold, the
temperature in the car was 65 degrees and the windows were up. No one
outside the car could have hurt her, Ballard said. The parked car was
behind the Florence police station.
The DPS found two minor mechanical issues with the car, but nothing that
could have killed the dog, Ballard said. He said the lack of a
conclusion was frustrating. "You'd like to get some sort of closure." He
believes the dog must have suffered some failure related to the heart or
brain, which is often the case when a human suddenly dies. Ballard said
the loss was difficult. "These animals live with us 24 hours a day; we
spend more time with them than we do our own families." It didn't help
when the public made assumptions and spread rumors without any facts, he
added. "The public shouldn't be so quick to judge until they know the
He said he has several happy memories of working with Vysta, a drug
sniffer. No particular day or event stands out. "Since I got her, every
day was exciting and new. Every day was ... another adventure and
another success." Vysta was alone in the running car for approximately
40 minutes that evening. Ballard said, "She could've passed five minutes
before I found her, or five minutes after I got out of the car. I don't
know." He indicated later it was more likely the former; the dog was
still warm to the touch when Ballard found her unresponsive.
Ballard said it wasn't an inordinate amount of time for the dog to be
alone in the car. "The cars are designed for those dogs to live in there
the entire shift time." Dogs typically spend more time than that in a
car waiting for their handlers to eat dinner. K-9 cars are also designed
for the dog's safety if its handler is unexpectedly delayed. If the air
conditioning shuts off, the windows open and a fan comes on. If the
temperature in the car continues to rise, a back door pops open so the
dog can get out.
On the evening of May 11, Ballard left Vysta in the car while he went in
the police station to check out his Taser and computer so he could begin
his shift. Before he could begin patrolling, he attended to some walk-in
traffic in the lobby. When Ballard finally returned to his car, he
instantly noticed an odor. Vysta had defecated, and was not in her usual
resting or sleeping position. The officer attempted to revive his K-9
partner, but "it couldn't be done."
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA