Memorials to Fallen K-9s 

The F.A.S.T. Co. donates sets of memorial cards to all partners 
 I need your help to inform me of such losses.

Dept. addresses available for those who want to send condolences to officers. See below

In Loving Memory of
December 27, 2010

Handler: Officer Jess Hancock
Wichita Police Department
455 N. Main St.
Wichita, KS  67202

Wichita drug dog honored posthumously for service

Wichita Police officer Jess Hancock with his canine partner Andor, a WPD drug detection dog. Andor recently died of liver disease. He was honored posthumously as Service Animal of the Year by the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association.

As he died from inoperable liver cancer, Andor mostly stayed in his crate, too weak to move much on his own. His Wichita Police Department K-9 handler, Jess Hancock, would carry him outside to use the bathroom. In his last days, he was unable to eat and was hooked up to a feeding tube. But whenever Andor saw Hancock in his police uniform, he would get out of his crate and stand. "It was like he was saying 'OK, Dad, I don't feel good but I'm ready to go,' " Hancock said Monday, when the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association honored Andor posthumously as Service Animal of the Year. Andor worked searching out drugs and evidence and protecting Hancock.

The Belgian Malinois was 9 years old when he died two days after Christmas. He had lived at home with Hancock and his wife and three children. Andor had put in five years with the Kansas Highway Patrol before his transfer to Wichita police. During his two years with Hancock, Andor helped seize about 54 pounds of cocaine, about 20 pounds of methamphetamine, about 18 pounds of marijuana and 2 1/2 grams of heroin.  He helped Hancock arrest 143 people, including someone who was on the FBI's Top 10 list of drug fugitives, and confiscate $25,000 in drug money.

"Andor was a close companion and a loyal partner, providing invaluable assistance and protection to Officer Hancock in their duty to protect the public both in Wichita and across the state of Kansas," a nomination letter read. Wichita veterinarian Garry Cowan nominated Andor for the award. Cowan received his own honor on Monday too. The association named him Veterinarian of the Year. Andor died quickly, Hancock said. Every year, drug dogs have to go through certification. "We certified Wednesday, December 15th," Hancock recalled.

"It was a 14-hour-long day. Out of nine or 10 dogs, he was number 2 or 3 dog of the day. By Thursday the next day, he didn't eat his dinner. By Saturday, he couldn't even stand up. It just swept in and took him. He had a tough last 10 days." Cowan donated his services to Andor over the years, Hancock said. He once performed a 3 1/2-hour surgery on Andor when Andor's stomach flipped like the dog in the movie "Marley & Me." "He put him back on the streets," Hancock said of Cowan, who practices at East Douglas Veterinary Clinic. 

Hancock now has a new drug dog, a 17-month-old Belgian Malinois named Sarge. Belgian Malinois have high energy, like Jack Russell terriers but bigger, Hancock said. Sarge goes for certification today and recently completed 13 weeks of K-9 basic school. Hancock said he jokes with school groups that he likes working with dogs because "I get to pick where we eat. I get to pick where we take a break, and they don't talk back to me." Hancock said he had a hard time getting through accepting Andor's award Monday in Manhattan. "Every time during that last week when I was uniform and I'd walk by him, he'd stand up. It still chokes me up," Hancock said.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
December 2010

Handler: Cpl. Paul Corso
Gwinnett Sheriff’s Department
2900 University Pkwy. NE
Lawrenceville, GA 30043

K-9 unit buries former partner in Dacula
Jonathan Phillips Joey Corso salutes while “Taps” is played for his father Cpl. Paul Corso’s K-9 partner, Aiko, during a memorial service at Oak Rest Pet Gardens in Dacula on Wednesday. Corso works for the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department and has been a K-9 handler for 18 years. K-9 Aiko worked as a patrol and narcotics detection dog for the Sheriff’s Department, assisting in the capture of 272 wanted people and finding more than $426,000 worth of drugs since being put into duty in 2000.

An otherwise tell-it-like-it-is tough guy, Cpl. Paul Corso cried Wednesday. The 18-year veteran of the Gwinnett Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 unit buried a former partner at Oak Rest Pet Gardens in Dacula, as 11-year-old German shepherd Aiko was laid to rest after a long and productive career.  American flag half-staff at the poinsettia-filled Garden of Honor, Corso delivered an emotional message. More than just a dog, K-9s are with their handlers day and night, at work and at home, more than their wives and kids are. “They all have that special spot,” Corso said. “We train together, we’ve done everything together. Your dogs aren’t trained to protect you, to take a bullet for you. These dogs are trained to fight for us. And that means something.”
Aiko was born in Bugerholz, Germany, in May of 1999, and was certified after being in the country for only two weeks. Unbelievably obedient — even for a K-9 — and an “awesome” patrol dog, Aiko was Corso’s second canine partner. All told, Aiko assisted in the capture of 272 wanted people and found over $426,000 worth of narcotics after beginning duty in 2000. His career was cut short in December 2005, when he tore a muscle in his right rear leg while tracking in the case of Jennifer Wilbanks, the so-called “Runaway Bride.” For the next five years, he would live a full life at home with Corso and his family.
“They’re our friends, our pets, our buddies, our partners,” Gwinnett County sheriff’s deputy Jason Cotton said to the gathered crowd. “And for somebody out there in the community, they are their hero.” After “Taps” was played and Aiko was laid to rest, Corso laughed, joked and remembered the dog that grew to be his sons’ “little buddy.” He fondly remembered Aiko’s first apprehension, a brief chase ending in a solid chomp of the suspect’s leff buttocks. He reflected on years of “doing everything together,” and recalled with a laugh Aiko’s unintentional bite of his own hand that led to 13 stitches.  “People talk about taking your work home with you. Well we do,” Corso said. “We’re always working. The problem with me is I’m so passionate about it.” Aiko was not Corso’s first partner to pass away, nor will he be the last. That didn’t stop the tears hiding behind his tightly wrapped sunglasses Wednesday, as he read a poem ironically titled “It’s Just My Dog.” “Without him, I am only another man,” Corso read. “With him, I am all powerful.”
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
December 10, 2010

Richard Forbes
Austin Police Department
Austin, TX


Aztek posing with 115-pounds of pot he found &

Aztek found $1.5 million hidden in a suitcase on an 18-wheeler

Goodbye, Aztek: APD grieves K-9 officer
After a long and illustrious career at the Austin Police Department, officers said a painful good-bye to K-9 officer Aztek -
a cancer-stricken veteran police dog who was put to sleep Friday afternoon. “It’s a great loss for the department,” said Austin police Sgt. Troy Long, of the narcotics unit. “Aztek served bravely on patrol for five years and another five years fighting the war on drugs.” Aztek busted criminals for a decade at the Austin Police Department before he was diagnosed with cancer. About three weeks ago, his health started failing him - and his bereaved handlers prepared for the worst. On Friday, his handlers said goodbye to the majestic Belgian Malanois - who leaves behind a legacy that includes $2.5 million in drug money and some 80 criminals nabbed. Aztek's trainer continued to bring him to the office even as his conditioned worsened - because being at work was what he loved. "It's like looking at a professional athlete," handler Richard Forbes recalled last week. "He was extremely athletic, had big muscles all the time and just couldn't stop working."
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
November 30, 2010

Handlers: M. Balaraman & Mahendra Singh
Bangalore India

The Police Bomb Disposal Squad lost one of its important staff today— Aadi, the black Labrador. He passed away following ill health at a veterinary hospital on Vinoba Road here this morning. Aadi had come to the city from Bangalore three months ago, deputed on Dasara duty. He was a darling of the cops, very obedient and disciplined. Aadi was under the care of Police trainers M. Balaraman & Mahendra Singh. Now the Dog Squad is left with Rashmi, a black and tan German Shepherd and Rekha, a reddish Dobermann.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
November 15, 2010 

Handler: Officer Jamie Burgess
Horseheads Police Department
202 South Main Street
Horseheads, New York 14845
(607) 739–5668

Horseheads police mourn loss of top K-9

Aron, the Horseheads Police Department's K-9 dog for more than nine years, died Monday.
Aron was the perfect police dog. "He could be gentle around kids one minute and apprehend the bad guy the next minute," Horseheads Police Chief Michael Barton said Wednesday. "He had different modes of operation. When Cub Scouts came around, or at a demonstration, he was gentle, playful. But when he was working, he was all business, very focused on what he was doing, very responsive to his handler. He was definitely what you wanted in
 a police K-9."
Aron, a Belgian Malinois who had been with the Horseheads Police Department for more than nine years and a friend to the police and others at Village Hall, died Monday of what was believed to be cancer. He was 11.Aron, who was imported (a Malinois is a kind of Belgian sheepherding dog), was purchased from a kennel when he was about a year and a half old, Barton said. He was only the second dog the department has ever had.
The chief called him "an all-purpose dog. He was utilized for protection, tracking, drug and article searches. He was phenomenal." To his handler, Officer Jamie Burgess, he was even more. Aron was Burgess' pet as well as his partner. "The dog was with him 24/7," Barton said. "It was his best friend. They were together all the time -- at work, at play and at home." Burgess was on administrative leave Wednesday, having been given some time off to deal with the loss.
And everyone else in the department, and at Village Hall, is feeling the loss too, Barton said. At some point, he said, the department will have a small memorial service for Aron. "We've lost a member of the department," the chief said. "He was an officer, a four-legged one. He was a great presence within Village Hall. He certainly will be missed."

submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
August 16, 2010

Deputy Jason Cory
Grundy County Sheriff’s Department

111 East Washington Street
Morris, IL 60450-2281
(815) 941-3215

Website -

 Cory missing his long-time partner
He was wagging his tail up to the end. “It’s heart-breaking,” Grundy County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Cory says of his K-9 companion, Deputy Alex, who was euthanized two weeks ago after cancer invaded his system. “But I didn’t want to see him suffer or go through a lot of treatments for my selfishness in wanting to have him around. He was a happy dog, never in any pain. That’s what is good.” Alex’s cancer was rampant. It was in his intestines, his liver, his kidneys. It was in other masses in his body. He had it everywhere, Cory said. The Czechoslovakian German Shepherd police dog and the deputy were a team a little more than five years, working on the streets together. They built up a relationship — they bonded. They were together until the end.
“He stayed with me in hotels, and he lived with me at home, so I was with my dog 24 hours a day,” Cory said. “I spent more time with my dog than with my wife. My wife was fine with it.” Cory carried Alex’s sleeping crate into the hotel rooms when they were away. At home, though, Alex had his own kennel, but he soon moved into the house. “He did very well with that,” Cory said. “He was a very intelligent dog. He had never experienced living in a house before, but he did fine with it. I took him outside a couple times, and that was it. He never had an accident.” Cory, like so many animal lovers, had pet dogs all his life, but Alex was his first K-9 police dog. It took the pair a couple months to bond after they were introduced to each
 other — to form a full, trusting bond.
“It’s a little shaky when they hand you a trained police dog, and you have no idea about the dog,” Cory said. “A little scary at first, but it worked out very well. I couldn’t ask for anything more with him.” Alex and Cory’s wife bonded extremely well, also. “They were great together. If I wasn’t home, and he was, he actually listened to her. He did better than me. They were very close.” Cory is leaving for the Northern Michigan K-9 Corps’ four-weeks training school on Monday, Sept. 13, to meet his new dog and for them to get to know each other. It will be hard, he said, adjusting to a new dog. Every dog is an individual, and Cory says he has to remember that he can’t compare the dogs.
“Alex was one in a million. He can never be replaced. He was like a kid to me,” Cory said. “I just have to look at it as a new dog with its own way. But, I can’t compare the two. No way can I compare them.” Before Alex’s cancer was discovered and he had to be put down, the pair had a lot of fun together, and the opportunity to do a lot of interesting, police-oriented activities. “We took a lot of drugs off the street, and we assisted a lot of agencies. Alex was a real good tool to have. We did a lot of stuff in the schools with the kids. He was a gentle giant. He loved being in school with all the kids.”
Alex was a very important aspect of the D.A.R.E. program in the county. He did not mingle with the general public, however, as police dogs are trained to do a job. “To protect their handlers,” Cory said.  “If they think you are coming to harm their handler for some reason, you could be in  big trouble. The K-9 squad car becomes their area — their car, and they’re protective of it. If you hear them bark quite a bit while in the car, they’re telling you, ‘This is my car. Go away.’”
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of 
Handler: Deputy Kari Cranfill

Riverside County Sheriff's Department
333 Limited Avenue
Lake Elsinore, CA. 92530
(951) 245-3333

Cranfill's first dog, Abel, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois that she had been working with since January 2009, became ill from an unexplained infection. After being sick for weeks, he had to be euthanized earlier this year. "It was really difficult," Cranfill said. "We spend every day of every week doing something with the dog." Cranfill said she had expected to work with Abel for about eight years and to keep him as a pet after he retired. "It made me realize how attached I was," she said, "even though we're kind of told sometimes 'Don't get so attached.'" "That dog had my back." Cranfill, who has been with the department six years, said she had wanted to be a handler ever since she encountered a K9 team at a job fair in high school. "I just thought that would be the best job in the world," she said. On Wednesday morning, Cranfill shouted commands in Dutch to Tessa, ordering her to chase down fellow handlers posing as bad guys at Adlerhorst International Police K-9 Academy near Riverside. It looked like a canine obedience school run amok, with dogs snarling, barking and pulling wildly at their leashes. But these canines, of course, aren't supposed to be docile pets. Getting the bad guys is what these dogs do. The six-week K-9 academy refines the dogs' skills and trains the handler and dog to work together, said academy owner David Reaver, who has operated the Glen Avon facility for 35 years. Cranfill said that all of the department's patrol dogs are trained to find people, narcotics and evidence -- as well as to bite.  

Usually, though, the dogs don't have to sink their teeth into anyone. "Most people, they hear the dog or they see the dog and they give up," Cranfill said. The dogs are used more for their noses than anything else, she said. The sheriff's department also purchased Tessa from the academy, which imports dogs from various breeders in Europe. Tessa was born in Holland and received much of her training there. "She is extremely playful. She seems to love to work," Cranfill said. "I can't find any flaws at the moment."

Reach Sarah Burge at 951-375-3736 or  
Captain Dave Fontneau,
Commander, Lake Elsinore Station
Riverside County Sheriff's Department
333 Limited Avenue
Lake Elsinore, CA. 92530
(951) 245-3333
California K-9 handler gets new partner
Deputy Kari Cranfill's first dog, Abel, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois fell ill earlier this year and had to be euthanized. Lake Elsinore Station's newest four-legged crime fighter will soon be hitting the streets. Tessa - a
2-year-old Belgian Malinois - is in training this month along with her handler, Deputy Kari Cranfill. This is all new to Tessa, but Cranfill, 32,was already working as one of a dozen K9 patrol deputies with the Riverside
County Sheriff's Department and is the only handler at the Lake Elsinore Station.  While Cranfill said she and the new dog are working well together, the match came about under sad circumstances. Cranfill's first dog, Abel, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois that she had been working with since January 2009, became ill from an unexplained infection. After being sick for weeks, he had to be euthanized earlier this year. "It was really difficult," Cranfill said. "We spend every day of every week doing something with the dog."
Cranfill said she had expected to work with Abel for about eight years and to keep him as a pet after he retired. "It made me realize how attached I was," she said, "even though we're kind of told sometimes 'Don't get so
attached.'" "That dog had my back." Cranfill, who has been with the department six years, said she had wanted to be a handler ever since she encountered a K9 team at a job fair in high school. "I just thought that would be the best job in the world," she said.
On Wednesday morning, Cranfill shouted commands in Dutch to Tessa, ordering her to chase down fellow handlers posing as bad guys at Adlerhorst International Police K-9 Academy near Riverside. It looked like a canine
obedience school run amok, with dogs snarling, barking and pulling wildly at their leashes. But these canines, of course, aren't supposed to be docile pets. Getting the bad guys is what these dogs do. The six-week K-9 academy
refines the dogs' skills and trains the handler and dog to work together, said academy owner David Reaver, who has operated the Glen Avon facility for 35 years.
Cranfill said that all of the department's patrol dogs are trained to find people, narcotics and evidence - as well as to bite. Usually, though, the dogs don't have to sink their teeth into anyone. "Most people, they hear the
dog or they see the dog and they give up," Cranfill said. The dogs are used more for their noses than anything else, she said. The sheriff's department also purchased Tessa from the academy, which imports dogs from various
breeders in Europe. Tessa was born in Holland and received much of her training there. "She is extremely playful. She seems to love to work," Cranfill said. "I can't find any flaws at the moment."

submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
July 26, 2010
Handler: Sgt. John H. Koski
Ashtabula Police Department
Justice Center
110 West 44th St.  Unit 1
Ashtabula, Ohio 44004-6974
Ph: 440.992.7172

Ashtabula police dog dies - Michael Sangiacomo, The Plain Dealer

Adrian, an Ashtabula Police Department dog, died recently. 

 Officials had a memorial service Tuesday for Ashtabula police dog Adrian, who died July 26 of a medical condition. His trainer, Sgt. John H. Koski, said Adrian began working for the department May 5, 2000 and has made 37 apprehensions, many involving weapons and drugs. Three of the men arrested with Adrian's help were convicted felons with loaded guns and criminal records.  
Adrian also made many searches for drugs in houses and cars, resulting in forfeited money and vehicles worth $200,000. He frequently was used in demonstrations at schools in the county. 

Contributions in Adrian's memory can be made to the Ashtabula F.O.P. Lodge 26 K-9 Fund.

Police K-9 Adrian - Star Beacon   

  ASHTABULA   —  K-9 Adrian, partner of Ashtabula City Police Department, Sergeant John H. Koski, ended his  watch on Monday, July 26,2010, as the result of an unforeseen medical condition. He began training on  March 1, 2000 and was sworn in on May 5, 2000.  Since that time, Adrian had 37 apprehensions, many involving  weapons and drugs. Three of those apprehensions involved convicted felons with loaded firearms and lengthy
 criminal records. Adrian completed numerous narcotic searches in residences on search warrants and on vehicles  for the Ashtabula City Police Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol. From these searches, money and  vehicles have been forfeited with an estimated value in excess of $ 200,000 (over $50,000 in 2007 alone).  One  vehicle was able to be used by the department for many years.  

  Adrian was a frequent visitor to area schools from pre-school to Kent State University, performing demonstrations  and assisting Sgt. Koski in explaining their mission. Nothing gave the more sat satisfaction than seeing children’s eyes as they watched in amazement as Adrian showed them what a Police Dog did and the confidence that he showed. He had a gentle nature with children, yet the ferocity when he attacked the bite sleeve did not go unnoticed by policemen and citizens alike. It will never be known how many officers or citizens may have been assaulted if not for Adrian’s presence. He had been punched, kicked and beaten in the line of duty, but remained the even-tempered partner that he was. He was truly proud of being a Police Dog and will be sadly missed by his department, the citizens of Ashtabula and his family, the Koski’s, John and Jill, and his favorite playmates, Christian and Connor. 

A Memorial  Service will be held 4:30 p.m.,Tuesday, August 10th,at North Park in Ashtabula.
 All are welcome and citizens are encouraged to bring a lawn-chair for seating.   
Contributions in Adrian’s memory may be made to:
   FOP Lodge #26
  K-9 Fund
  4524 Elm Ave.
Ashtabula, Ohio

 Ashtabula is in charge of arrangements.   
 Obituary at -  and
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
 August 3, 2010
Deputy Sheriff Cody Benslay
Fayette County Sheriff's Department
155 Johnson Ave
Fayetteville, Georgia 30214
Phone: (770)461-6353 - Fax: (770)716-4870


Fayette police dog dies during chase 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - By Kristi E. Swartz
A brief pursuit in
Fayette County led to the arrest of four men in connection with a rash of burglaries.
But the Fayette County Sheriff's Department's first full-service K-9 dog died during the chase, which ended in some heavy woods in the northern part of the county. Deputies arrested the four men in connection with at least six burglaries that happened in north Fayette County between July 26 and Aug. 3.

Somoah Martin, 20, of Rex; and Brandon Hightower, 17; Tony McKinstry, 17; and Rodriguez McKinstry, 20, all from College Park, are being held in the Fayette County Jail on burglary charges. Deputies spotted the men in a red car as they were patrolling the area of Lafayette and Bordeaux Drive, an area that had been hit hard by burglaries in the recent weeks.  Deputies said two of the men got out of the car and started walking on Lafayette Drive. One deputy followed the car and tried to pull it over on Bordeaux Dr.  The driver kept going, but then lost control of the car.  The two men who were in the car got out and started running toward the two other men who had been in the car, deputies said.  Deputies arrested the men in a heavily wooded area in north Fayette County.  It was during that pursuit that K9 Aaros, a 5 year old Belgian Tervuren, died, said deputies.  Aaros and his handler, Deputy Sheriff Cody Benslay were in the odds when the dog lost consciousness, deputies said.  Aaros had not shown any signs of distress before then.  K9 Aaros died while being transported to the Fayette Veterinarian Medical Center.  Aaros was Fayette County's first full service law enforcement canine.


Heat Related Death Of Police Dog Leads To Dept. Changes
Fayette County Sheriff’s Deputies Scheduled for Emergency Training

Fayette County Sheriff’s Deputy Cody Benslay had a special bond with his partner, Arros.   “He was definitely like a family member to me. We did almost everything together, from sun up to sun down,” said Benslay. On Tuesday, the 5-year-old dog died from heat exhaustion after chasing four burglary suspects in a wooded area deputies said.  “We got the first two and there were two more, and we just kept going. Arros went until he couldn’t go anymore,” Benslay said. Arros was airlifted to an animal hospital, but he died on the way. Deputies said every K-9 vehicle has an emergency kit in the back for use in an emergency. “We use alcohol rather than water to cool them off because it evaporates so quickly, and dogs cool through evaporation,” said Benslay. On Tuesday, the alcohol and drinking water were too far away to save Arros.  “Unfortunately when emergencies happen, we can be more than 2 miles away from our vehicles,” said Lt. Dan Thamert. But the Sheriff’s Office said that will not be an issue in the future. “We are going to prepare an emergency kit and one of the local vets has agreed to give us a crash course in what we can do in the field to stabilize the dogs until we can get to an emergency center,” said Thamert.  The deputies are expected to start training within a few weeks.

submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA


 -  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - --
Also from Law Enforcement Today:

Fayetteville, Georgia (click photo for details)
Fayette County Sheriff's Office
Police K-9 Deputy ARROS
End Of Watch : 08-03-10

K-9  Deputy ARROS, 5, gave his life In The Line Of Duty while in pursuit and 
apprehension of 4 suspects. After another Officer picked up on a  vehicle
matching the description of a wanted for burglaries and their  failure to stop,
the four occupants scuttled the vehicle and then fled  on foot into a heavily
wooded area. Fayette County Deputy Cody Benslay  and his partner K-9 Deputy
Arros were called to the scene. A perimeter  had been set and the pair headed
into the woods to begin their search.  K-9 Arros was able to locate and assist
with the apprehension of two of  the burglary suspects. This HERO was not done
yet though. 2 down, 2 to  go and he knew it. Deputy Benslay and his trusted
4-legged partner  continued with the search. K-9 Arros was showing no signs of
distress at  all before he just suddenly collapsed. Deputy Benslay immediately 
brought Arros to a cooler spot and the Sheriff's helicopter was sent in  due to
the remote area. Arros was unconscious and needed help fast. What  appears to
have been a heat related stroke, took Arros's life before  they even made it to
the veterinarian hospital. He passed so quickly.
 (Thank you for update... times I think... I cannot go on with these sad

memorials... until I hear emails like this!!)

thanks again and again....   lulu

In Loving Memory of
February, 2010

Handler:  Tim Fisher
Rock Falls City Police Department
63 W. 10th St.
Rock Falls, IL 61071

In June of 1995 Sgt. Tim Fisher accepted the position of patrolman in his hometown, Rock Falls, Illinois. He had worked as a military policeman and for the Rockton, Illinois Police Department prior to coming to Rock Falls. Sgt. Fisher expressed interest in the position of K-9 Officer since the day he graduated from basic training in the Army. Now he has that opportunity. In September of 2003, Sgt. Fisher was sent to the Landheim training center in Dyer, Indiana. At the center, he worked with several dogs the first week. At the end of that first week, Sgt. Fisher was paired up with Axle. Axle is a two year old German Shepard from Germany. After 6 weeks of intense training, Sgt. Fisher and Axle hit the street in their Ford Explorer equipped with a dog kennel. Axle fits the needs of the Rock Falls Police Department perfectly. He is very social, and yet works well when called upon to do so. He is a full service police dog. He assists officers in building searches, area searches, tracking of suspects and missing persons and narcotics detection. Axle is trained to locate five different types of narcotics. Sgt. Fisher and Axle continue to train together on a daily basis. As with any other officer, Axle's function in the department is to help maintain a safe and orderly environment for the citizens of Rock Falls to live in. His ability to find narcotics, apprehend felony suspects, and locate missing people helps the department achieve this goal. His mere presence is a deterrent to those who might jeopardize the safety of our citizens and its police officers. To those who do no wrong, Axle is a welcome friend. 

Update: On February 10th 2010 Axle passed away due to prostate cancer. He had a great 7yr run with the department and will be missed.  submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
 2004 - June 28, 2010

Handler: Officer Andy Strachota <>

Beaver Dam Police Department
205 South Lincoln Ave.
Beaver Dam, WI  53916
Ph: 920.887.4612
FAX: 920.887.4616

Retired Beaver Dam K-9 officer dies

Retired Beaver Dam K-9 officer Ali has died. The dog died on June 28 from complications due to a stomach problem that developed suddenly. Ali did not seem to suffer, as this took place over a period of a few hours. She was retired as a police dog in February after six years of service, having experienced some performance issues at the end of her stint. She spent her short retirement with Officer Andy Strachota and his family.


Strachota thanks the people that they met through the years and will not forget the friends they made. The Beaver Dam Police Department would like to thank the community for their support over the years. Animart, Kritter Kuts, Wyllow Pet Hospital and Country Meat Cutter are just a few of the local businesses that supported the program Ali replaced the department’s first police dog, King, who died as the result of heart failure in January 2003. King was brought to the department after it started a canine program in 1996. It has not been determined if Ali will be replaced.   submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA 
(I requested .jpg-lulu)

In 2004, Officer Andrew Strachota accepted the position and challenge of becoming the new K-9 Officer. The Beaver Dam Middle School students raised a significant amount of funds towards the K-9 program. K-9 Ali joined the department in the summer of 2004 after a one month intense training program. She is certified in narcotics and tracking.  The Department was saddened by the loss of Ali, who passed away on June 28, 2010 from sudden complications of a stomach problem. 

In Loving Memory of

May 27, 2010


Handler: Officer Jay Parker
Jefferson Police Department

140 Mahaffey Street
Jefferson, GA 30549-1136
(706) 367-7233

Police to honor K-9 officer at memorial
By Merritt Melancon -
Law officers in Jackson County will say goodbye to a K-9 colleague this week, an officer who saved lives by getting drugs off the street.   Ayak, a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois, was responsible for the seizure of more than $1 million in cash and more than 100 pounds of illegal drugs in his career, according to his handler, Jefferson K-9 officer Jay Parker.
Special Ayak, a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois, was responsible for the seizure of more than $1 million in cash and more than 100 pounds of illegal drugs in his career, according to his handler, Jefferson K-9 officer Jay Parker.
Ayak, one of two K-9 officers that work with the Jefferson Police Department, was found dead last week.
The dog had lived and worked with Jefferson K-9 officer Jay Parker for four years; the team transferred to the Jefferson Police Department about two years ago.  "He was an awesome partner and protector," Parker wrote in an e-mail Tuesday.
During their years in Jefferson, Ayak and Parker had seized at least $400,000 in suspected drug money and an untold amount of illegal drugs, said police Chief Joe Wirthman. Ayak was responsible for the seizure of more than 100 pounds of drugs and more than $1 million in suspected drug cash during his career, Parker said.
Much of the new equipment and vehicles the police department has purchased over the past two years has been paid for with money seized through Ayak's work, Wirthman said.
"He was good," the chief said. "You just don't know, by taking the drugs off of the street, how many lives that he may have saved - not just people who might have overdosed, but keeping somebody from getting in the car and driving under the influence and killing somebody because they couldn't get their drugs. You can't measure that. But in my heart, I know he saved people's lives."
Walker had asked his neighbor and fellow K-9 officer Oconee County sheriff's Cpl. Shane Partain and his family to look in on Ayak while Parker was away on vacation for a few days, Wirthman said.
When one of the Partains went to check on the dog about 9 p.m. Thursday, the dog had died.
While the dog's death was not suspicious, it was unexpected and officers are interested in finding out why he died.
"We don't think there was any foul play involved, at all," Wirthman said.
Deputies from the Oconee County Sheriff's Office responded to Parker's house, photographed the scene and collected his food and water as evidence. They transported Ayak's body to the University of Georgia School of Veterinary Sciences for a necropsy. The results should be available in the coming weeks, Wirthman said.
The dog had not been ill but suffered some separation anxiety when Parker went out of town in the past, Wirthman said.  Jefferson officers will hold a memorial service for Ayak at 3 p.m. Friday at Curry Creek Park in Jefferson. They plan to plant a tree in Ayak's honor, Wirthman said.
Good job, Ayak. There's a ***** Good Dog!
Ayak did more in his short life to better this world then I feel certain someone like you will ever do. You just try to stir stuff up. Get a heart and if not, at least use what brain you have to refrain from stupid jokes/comments on articles dealing w/those who are "out there" dealing with the idiots of this world.

Jefferson K-9 Officer Jay Parker is overcome with emotion as he talks about his former K-9 partner, Ayak, during a memorial service Friday for Ayak at Curry Creek Park in Jefferson.      

There are snapshots of Ayak posing with two huge bales of marijuana he sniffed out from inside a suitcase, and with the stacks of cash he helped confiscate from suspected drug smugglers. A few of the pictures show the busted criminals he had to corner for his comrades.

View more photos from the funeral for Ayak.

But while Ayak was a crime-fighting force, he was much more than that to his handler, Jefferson K-9 Officer Jay Parker, and Parker's wife and two kids, who helped take care of the dog when he came home at night.  "My wife and kids loved Ayak as much as I did," Parker said. "They counted on him to bring me home safe every night. ... He and I have been in some really tight and dangerous situations, and he never let me down. He was not only my partner and my protector but my companion, and I will always love and miss him."  Parker, his family, friends from around Jefferson and both human and canine officers from at least six different law enforcement agencies gathered Friday at Curry Creek Park for a memorial service for Ayak. The 7-year-old Belgian Malinois died unexpectedly May 27.  Veterinarians at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine performed a necropsy and will know how he died in a few weeks.  Ayak worked with Parker at the Jefferson Police Department for 2 1/2 years. During that time, he confiscated more than 100 pounds of illegal drugs and more than $1 million in suspected drug money - money that has allowed the department to buy new equipment even during the worst budget crunches, said Chief Joe Wirthman.  "He put some hurtin' on some drug dealers and their operations," Parker said. "I'm sure of that." Parker and Ayak started their career together about four years ago when Parker purchased the dog with his own money while working as a deputy in the Anderson County Sheriff's Office in South Carolina. Parker - nearly 7 feet tall - was a little scared of Ayak when he first picked him from a training kennel in Richmond, VA. Parker did what he could to make himself and his new friend as comfortable as possible on the long road trip, offering him the back seat of his police cruiser.  "He was a 95-pound Malinois that I had never met before, and to tell the truth I was a little scared of him," Parker said, describing his decision to keep the dog in the back seat behind the car's Plexiglas partition. "But my (human) partner was terrified of him." The two men got to know the dog through the open window of the Plexiglas barrier until about 3 a.m., when they stopped to get some snacks and drinks. Parker came out of the store and saw his partner standing by the door of the cruiser visibly shaken." 'Don't tell me you opened the door and let him run off,' " Parker told his partner.  "Well he was still in there, just sitting on the front seat with his paws up on the window," Parker told the crowd at the eulogy. "(My partner) wouldn't get in the car as long as that dog had his seat."  It wasn't the last time Ayak's size would generate laughs at the expense of his colleagues.  Wirthman recalled a day he was sitting at his desk with his door open. Parker tossed Ayak's Kong - a rubber dog toy used for training - down the police station hallway. The toy bounced wildly, eventually landing in Wirthman's lap. "And I could see the dog coming down the hall, trying to get traction on the linoleum floor," Wirthman said. "I thought, 'He's going to come right over this desk.' I won't even talk about the other problems he could have caused. ... He came right around the desk and grabbed the toy out my lap.  "I think Jay already had his resignation letter ready to go that day. That's one memory that I will have for the rest of life."  As Ayak's memorial service wrapped up, Parker's 4-year-old daughter, along with nearly a dozen grown police officers, wiped away tears streaking down their cheeks.  The seven-member Jefferson Police Department Honor Guard shot three rifle volleys into the air, and the seven drug dogs gathered at the memorial, from jurisdictions from Habersham County to Gwinnett, answered in kind - a salute of barking, howling and jumping for a fallen comrade.

In Loving Memory of

  February 18, 2010

Kevin Howell

Bristol County Sheriff's Department
400 Faunce Corner Rd.
North Dartmouth, MA

PH: 508.995.6400

When I started my canine career many years ago I was still a relatively young man. I was recently married to the love of my life and we had just purchased our first home. We looked forward to my new career and starting a family. So when I picked up my new K9 partner at the importers, I was eager and a little apprehensive about what to expect.  When they brought out the one-year-old scrawny looking German shepherd, I have to admit I was not overly impressed. My trainer told me to take "Agon" home and spend the weekend "bonding" with him. Come Monday we would start our training together as a new K9 team.
When I returned home with Agon and took him out of the cruiser, my new bride actually laughed at the sight of him and said "That scrawny dog is your new partner?" We spent the weekend feeding, grooming and playing with the lovable Shepherd and I wondered how this lovable dog was ever going to be able to strike fear in any criminal.
Monday morning arrived and we reported for our first day of the K9 Police Academy. The trainer instructed me and the other new K9 teams to get our partners out of the cruisers and "Hook them Up." We then proceeded to line up for some agitation work. We were instructed to hold on to the leash and not let go no matter what. A couple of us exchanged looks as if to say, "What is all the drama for?"
Well I can tell you now I was not prepared for what happened next! When the decoy appeared and started agitating the dogs, the transformation of this scrawny, lovable Shepherd that I had spent the weekend playing ball with and rubbing his belly was unbelievable. I could not believe the strength of this dog and the effort he put in trying to get at the decoy. I honestly believe he would have eaten that decoy if I had let him go. The purpose of the short exercise was simple and effective. We all now had an immediate respect for the abilities of our new K9 partners.
The academy flew by and 16 weeks later we had learned the basics of Police K9 work, bite work, tracking, building search and crowd control. Over the course of our first year of patrol work, Agon and I continued to bond and train. Agon excelled at all levels of K9 police work and transformed from the scrawny, lovable dog into a 90 pound beast of a dog that no decoy was happy to see on training days.
In 2000, it was decided that our department was to cross train two K9 teams in explosive detection and Agon was without a doubt the #1 candidate. So this began a new chapter in our K9 career. We traveled back and forth from Massachusetts to Philadelphia to train with the Philadelphia Police Department K9 unit for the next 10 weeks.
Once again, Agon excelled, becoming the first certified explosive detection dog in the Bristol County Sheriff's Office history. At the same time, my beautiful wife and I, with Agon at our side, began our family. Years later, Agon and our two boys, Spencer and Cooper, had literally grown up together. Agon was there from the beginning for our boys. He was at every first birthday, first Christmas and first step. I knew Agon was truly a part of our family when some of our boys' first words came out as German commands.
Agon's career was a long and accomplished one. Over the years, we have done it all together. We have tracked and apprehended felons in the middle of the night. We have gone into battle side by side into the jails to reclaim facilities that rioting inmates had taken over. Let me tell you a 90-pound beast of a dog on the end of a six foot leash can change the course of a disturbance as soon as he appears.
In 2007, Agon became the first K9 in the commonwealth to attend and achieve the newly created ATF advanced K9 explosive detection certification. Over the years, we have provided explosive sweeps for the New England Patriots, Brittany Spears and even former presidents and their families.  Without a doubt the best and hardest thing we ever accomplished together, however, was when we responded to New York City following the tragic 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers. Agon and I were a part of a Bristol County Sheriff's Office contingency that assisted with the rescue attempts at
Ground Zero.
Due to Agon's special ability as a search dog, we, along with other members of the unit, were immediately directed to Ground Zero and "the pile" to begin looking for survivors. We spent the better part of two days working the pile. Unfortunately, no survivors were located and the rescue mission sadly turned to a recovery mission.
I take tremendous pride in knowing that we were able to provide many families a sense of closure in returning their loved ones to them. During the time we spent at Ground Zero, Agon never faltered or tired, even though I was asking him to work in the most horrific conditions imaginable.
I know our presence at Ground Zero helped many a rescue worker who would pause to pet Agon and thank us for being there. I know this short break amidst the madness that surrounded us provided them with a sense of normalcy if only for a short time. I also know in my heart, without a doubt, that Agon somehow understood the magnitude of the situation and didn't hesitate to show every rescue worker that stopped to pet him the same unquestioned affection knowing instinctively that's what they needed at that moment.
Nine years passed in a blink of an eye and our time together as partners came to end due to Agon's advancing age and worsening hips. Nine great years, full of good memories, is a long working career for a dog of Agon's size given the tremendous stress we place on our K9 partners. Not surprisingly, Agon gracefully transitioned into full retirement and began to enjoy life lounging on the couch and waiting for the boys and my wife to come home so he could get some of the never-ending affection and treats they lavished upon him. I didn't think it possible, but the family became even more attached to Agon now that he was home all the time and not at work with Dad. Agon's favorite things changed from chasing bad guys to the sound of the school bus and the  garage door opening.
Agon enjoyed his retirement for nearly two years. However, the sight of his failing hips and health weighed heavily on our hearts as it does on any family that is forced to watch as a elderly family member's health declines. I tried to have the "the talk" with the boys about what was best for Agon, but how do you explain to seven- and nine-year-old boys a life lesson that most adults struggle to understand?
I knew the time was near when one day my wife frantically called for me to come to the kitchen, I ran to the kitchen with both boys following and found my wife near tears. She began to explain that Agon was getting a drink of water when his rear legs had collapsed and folded up under him. Agon was struggling to regain his stance when I entered the room. I locked eyes with Agon and he gave me "the look," the one that says, "I faithfully stood by your side for years and watched your back. Now I need you to stand by my side do the right thing and give me my dignity back!"  I placed the call to the veterinarian the following week and explained to the boys the best I could. On Jan. 11, the tearful goodbyes were heart-wrenching as I loaded Agon into the back of the cruiser for his final "call of duty." I held him in my arms as he passed away and silently thanked him for all he had done and given me over the years.  Agon was a huge part of my family's lives for many years and helped us become the family we are today. He will never be forgotten and will always hold that special part in our hearts. When I think back about Agon, it will always be to that day when I brought him home and my wife laughed at my new "scrawny partner." Thank you partner for being a part of our lives!  Deputy Kevin Howell is an Acushnet resident. He is a 19-year veteran of the Bristol County Sheriff's Office and a trainer with the International Police Work Dog Association.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA


In Loving Memory of
June 4, 2010

Handler: Officer Tankersley <>
Little Rock Police Department
700 W. Markham St.
Little Rock, AR 72201

On Wednesday December 2nd 2009, K-9 Xantho was taken into Briarwood Animal Hospital on Wednesday morning after Officer Tankersley noticed he was not feeling well.  K-9 Xantho and Officer Tankersley had just finished working their night shift when Officer Tankersley noticed that Xantho seemed to be extremely tired and suffering from abdominal pain.  Dr. Bob Hale examined Xantho and took x-rays of his abdomen.  After reviewing the x-rays, Dr. Hale discovered that Xantho's spleen was enlarged and he had an abnormal amount of air trapped in his large and small intestines.  Dr. Hale then performed and ultrasound on Xantho's abdomen and identified what he thought was an abnormal mass on Xantho's spleen and blood in his abdomen.  Dr. Hale consulted with Dr. Anthony Gary who is an Internal Medicine Specialist with Arkansas Veterinary Internal Medicine.  Dr. Gary agreed to examine Xantho at Dr. Hale's office.  Dr. Gary brought in his mobile ultrasound and, after examining Xantho, confirmed Dr. Hale's diagnosis of a tumor on Xantho's spleen.  Since Xantho was in pain and was bleeding into his abdomen, Drs. Hale and Gary said that the only two choices of action would be surgery or euthanasia.  Dr. Hale believed that Xantho was strong enough to be a good candidate for a Splenectomy and, if the tumor were to found to be benign, then Xantho should have a full recovery.  Chief Stuart Thomas was informed of the situation and agreed that, if there was a chance that Xantho would recover, he should have the surgery.  We know that this was a difficult decision for Chief Thomas to make because he has been forced to run the Police Department on a very tight budget.  In an attempt to ease some of the burden, the Little Rock Police K-9 Association is working with Chief Thomas to help pay for the cost of Xantho's surgery and after-care.  On Thursday morning, Dr. Hale brought in his personal dog, Roux, to be a blood donor for Xantho.  After receiving a blood transfusion from Roux, Xantho underwent surgery to remove his spleen and the attached tumor.  Dr. Hale completed the surgery and said that Xantho went through the procedure well.  Samples of the tumor, which was approximately the size of a baseball, were sent off to the Pathology Lab and the results are expected back next week.  Xantho is currently recovering

We are saddened to announce the passing of retired K-9 Axel

K-9 Axel was retired in 2008 when he began having problems with his rear legs.  When he began to loose balance and control of his rear legs an MRI was performed on K-9 Axel's back and hips.  It was discovered that K-9 Axel had a bulging disk in his back that was putting pressure on his spine.  K-9 Axel underwent surgery in the fall of 2008 to alleviate the pressure with the hopes that he would regain the lost motor function, but after several months of rehab K-9 Axel had not shown much improvement.  In May of this year, K-9 Axel's condition worsened and it appeared that he was now in constant pain and his quality of life was degrading.  Officer Harrington made the painful decision that K-9 Axel, who had served her and the citizens of Little Rock so bravely, should not be made to suffer any longer.  On June 4th, K-9 Axel was humanely euthanized.  Rest well Axel, we will miss you.

Previous K9 BECK.. is on 2004-B.

In Loving Memory of

Bennettsville Sheriff's Department
501 East Main St.
 Bennettsville, SC 29512
tel 843-479-9001 | fax 843-479-9009 |
Bennettsville, South Carolina

lost text .... help.....
This unit consists of two (2) officers with their K-9 partners. K-9 Max is a European long hair German Shepherd specializing in detection and tracking. K-9 Aron specializes in explosive detection and tracking. This unit has the responsibility of not only providing these specialized services for the City of Bennettsville but also for the Marlboro County School System. Both K-9 officer and partners visit the schools on a weekly basis.

In Loving Memory of

Handler: ?
Madison Wisconsin Police Department
Chief Noble Wray
Police Department
211 S. Carroll St.
Madison, WI 53709

(608) 266-4022

The department’s K9 teams provide a great service to the community, tracking missing persons, apprehending suspects and locating evidence. They allow patrol officers to work in a safer and more efficient manner and perform functions that human officers are simply unable to do. For example, officers searching a building—without the benefit of a K9 team—will take much longer to perform the search (and will be exposed to greater risk). Performing a building search with a K9 team will enable to the search to be performed in much less time, increasing efficiency (freeing up officers for other calls/duties) and decreasing risk to officers. The K9 teams have tracked (and located) missing persons, apprehended dangerous suspects, and been responsible for the removal of a significant amount of illegal drugs and weapons from the community.

For most of the Madison Police Department’s history, the department had no K9 unit or police dogs. Starting in the late 1980’s a handful of officers engaged in some trial use of dogs, introducing the department to the benefits of police K9’s. In the 1990’s, a number of MPD officers assigned to the Dane County drug unit had dogs trained in narcotics detection. It wasn’t until 2004, however, that the department was able to form a dedicated K9 unit serving patrol.

The Madison Police Department’s K9 unit is comprised of six dogs. Five of these dogs are dual-purpose dogs, trained in both narcotics detection and patrol work (building searches, tracking, etc.), and assigned to patrol services. One dog is trained only in narcotics detection and is assigned to the Dane County Narcotics and Gang Task Force.

In Loving Memory of
2002 - June 17, 2010

Handler: Officer Jaime "Rusty" Suarez

Sequin Police Department
350 N. Guadalupe St.
Seguin, Texas 78155
Phone: (830) 379-2123
FAX: (830) 401-2379

Seguin PD K-9 Argis passes away
Seguin police are mourning the loss of a special friend, the department announced Wednesday. K-9 Argis, a police dog who served with two different officers over a six-year career, died on June 17. Born in 2002, the dog began its career two years later after being trained to find bombs and do patrol work. Initially, Argis worked with since-retired Cpl. Michael Pafort, and was converted to drug interdiction. He finished his service working with patrol officer Jaime “Rusty” Suarez.

Memorial arrangements have not been announced, but Capt. Maureen Watson said Wednesday that James Deatherage of Carter Memorials has created a plaque recognizing the dog’s service to Seguin, and Don Weatherford of the Wagging Works Pet Crematory has donated its services. The death has been hardest of all on the Belgian Malinois’ human partner, Watson said." Rusty and Argis were really close, and he misses him,” Watson said.

“Sometimes I think we forget police dogs and their handlers form a very unique relationship. They’re more than dog and master. They’re partners in the true sense of the word, and they depend on each other. He loved that dog. It’s literally like losing a family member.” Watson said the dog died after Suarez let him outside for a short time on June 17. “Argis loved to be outdoors and take naps in the afternoon sunshine,” Watson said. When Suarez opened the door to let the dog back in, he didn’t get up.

“The officer was devastated by the loss of his companion and partner,” Watson said. “He’s really having a hard time, but he’s doing well.”
Animal control was called, and Supervisor Amy Perrenot reported the dog appeared to be in good condition with a shiny coat and healthy gums. Veterinarian Dr. William Campaigne of Seguin Animal Hospital examined the dog, and reported it appeared to be healthy. Watson said the vet reported the dog might have died from heat exhaustion, which is not uncommon in South Texas.

“Dr. Campaigne stated that a K-9 falling asleep in the sun can induce heat exhaustion or heatstroke rapidly,” Watson said. “Heat exhaustion can occur in a non-neglectful situation, and there is no indication that Officer Suarez was neglectful in this situation.” Police want to place Suarez with another dog, Watson said, but do not have the money for a dog that could cost around $9,000. “Rusty’s a talented handler, and I think the community would benefit,” Watson said. “We’re hoping we can raise the money somehow. We just have to find someone with a big heart who can help us.”
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

Police officer Jaime “Rusty” Suarez, right, and Detective Sgt. Aaron Seidenberger used police bikes to patrol and clear the route for last Saturday’s July 4th parade.

In Loving Memory of

Selma Alabama Sheriff's Dept.
P.O. Box 450 - 1300 Alabama Ave.
Selma, AL  36702
Ph: 334.874.2120

 Heat Exhaustion, Bloat

submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA    I emailed for more info and .jpg....  LRK