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

Handler: Officer A. J. Arredondo
Hattiesburg Police Department
701 James St.
Hattiesburg, MS  39401
PH: 601 544-7900

Hattiesburg police bid farewell to beloved officer -  & Members of the Hattiesburg
Police Department look on during a memorial service for Police K-9 Officer Leon.
Hattiesburg police honor guard member Derek Holmes carries the remains of Police K-9 Officer Leon during a memorial service.
Hattiesburg Police officer A.J. Arredondo, Officer Leon's handler, holds an American flag presented to him during a memorial service for K-9 Officer Leon.
A small and somber crowd looked at a brightly colored memorial at the Hattiesburg Police Department's academy Monday afternoon which honored the passing of one of its own. The memorial included an American flag, flowers, a bulletproof vest, a leash, a chew toy and a portrait of a yellow dog. The crowd of officers was gathered to honor retired K-9 Officer Leon, a 9-year-old golden retriever who served as a patrol dog with HPD for eight years. "A lot of people don't understand a K-9's love for his partner," said K-9 Officer Larry Primeaux.

Primeaux said a K-9 will never complain about working conditions, and he remembered that Leon only wanted one thing in return for working alongside his handler, K-9 Officer A.J. Arredondo for all those years - to be petted and told, "Good boy." With the passing of Leon, the entire HPD K-9 family was affected, Primeaux said. There are eight K-9 officers on the force and all of them were helped by Leon, said Lt. Keith Crawford.
During the eulogy, K-9 Officer Eric Hatten said Leon worked at the academy in his golden years, helping his handler train the next generation of police dogs. Hatten said Leon also was responsible for assisting in more than 400 arrests and the confiscation of at least 300 pounds of marijuana, 15 kilos of cocaine, two pounds of meth, 10 vehicles and about $60,000. Even though Leon was a great officer, he was more than just a partner to his handler, Crawford said.
"Being a handler that has lost a dog, I can tell you exactly how it feels," Crawford said. "It's like losing a family member." After the service, two members of the HPD honor guard folded the flag and presented it and Leon's portrait to Arredondo and his wife. Primeaux then looked at Leon's memorial and said, "K-9 Leon, you have done your job ... now go in peace and rest and be a dog. Your time as a police service dog is over. Good boy, Leon."
An honor guard escorted a small box containing Leon's ashes to a waiting K-9 patrol car. Arredondo turned on the blue lights,
then drove his beloved partner on his final ride - escorted by six other K-9 units.  Crawford said the department has
lost four other K-9 officers.  Monday was the first day of National Police Week, which will include several memorial events in the area. Forrest County Sheriff's Department will hold a memorial at 10 a.m. today at the Eugene Lamar Walters Law Enforcement Complex on Forrest Street.

Hattiesburg Police Department will hold a memorial for fallen officers at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Vinson-Everett Police Complex in downtown Hattiesburg. Although they have not lost an officer in the line of duty, Petal Police Department will hold a candlelight memorial service at 8 p.m. Thursday at Relay Park gazebo, Chief Leonard Fuller said. "We honor all the ones that have been killed in Forrest County - police officers, sheriff's deputies and Highway Patrol troopers," Fuller said. Lamar County Sheriff's Department does not hold an annual memorial service. "We attend the other ones," Sheriff Danny Rigel said. "We have been fortunate enough to have never lost an officer, so we show our respect to the neighboring agencies."
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
aka; Hodges' Copper Luke
2004 - April 2010
Handler: Sgt. Don Hodges
Anderson SC Police Department

I am writing to inform you of the passing of my 2nd K9 partner. His full name was Hodges's Copper Luke but most people called him Luke. He was a 6 year old bloodhound. He passed away from bloat. He was out of the kennels of Bobby Bryant who raises bloodhounds for law enforcement. I first met Luke when he was only 6 weeks old. It is hard to imagine a small puppy would grow up to be the size of Luke. The first time one of my friends met Luke the first thing he called him was Clifford for Clifford the Big Red Dog. The first three year of Luke life he spent as a K-9 deputy with the local Sheriff's Office. One of the biggest track of Luke's career was when he helped track down 2 fugitives that tried to rundown several officers from a Sheriff's Office in the state of Georgia. My wife and I will miss the big red hound more than most people can realize. I guess my first bloodhound Chief now has another friend to play around with in heaven. To Luke I will miss you and when we meet again, me, you and Chief will go out and track something down.
Sgt. Don Hodges
Anderson SC Police Department

In Loving Memory of
April 9, 2010

Handler: SFC James Allred
Kennel Master
209th Military Police Detachment
deployed April 2008 to January 2009
Ft. Benning
, GA

Veteran military working dog remembered

The 209th Military Police Detachment lost a veteran military working dog two weeks ago. Luigi, a 9-year-old German Shepherd who made two combat deployments to Iraq, was euthanized April 9, said SFC James Allred, kennel master for the unit’s military working dog section. He suffered from a degenerative condition in his back and hips and had to be put down because veterinarians feared the painful disorder might cause him to slip into a state of dementia. “He was highly dedicated to the job. He worked hard during every training event and mission he went on,” Allred said.

“Luigi also had a strong commitment to his handler that he was assigned to.”  Luigi’s last Iraq deployment came from April 2008 to January 2009. “He performed his duties well and protected his handler from harm,” Allred said. “He was also well known on Fort Benning amongst the military police as the dog you wanted on duty with you. He was aggressive and very protective of his handler. He was a great military working dog.” Allred said the animal’s absence is felt — from both a professional and personal standpoint. “Luigi meant a lot to all the handlers and will forever be a part of the Fort Benning kennels,” he said. “We loved him and will miss him around the kennel compound.”   submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
January 26, 2010

Warren County Sheriff's Department
. 23 East Jackson Street
Front Royal,
VA   22630
PH: (540) 635-4128 • Fax:(540) 6364950

Retired K-9s Poisoned in Virginia

Somebody in Front Royal poisoned four dogs, including two who once were part of the K-9 Unit in the Warren County Sheriff's Department. The incidents occurred late last week while the dogs were housed in a kennel. Sheriff Daniel McEathron said the dogs were acting strangely and were sent to the vet where it was determined they ingested anti-freeze. A retired K-9, Logan, and a dog owned by the kennel's owner had to be put down. Two other dogs were treated and are recovering.

McEathron, who at one time spent 20 years as a handler in the K-9 unit, said the dogs are like part of the department. He said it's tough because the dogs spend so much time with the deputies, they feel bad if anything happens to them. Investigators believe this is an isolated incident and they are treating this as a criminal matter. Animal cruelty, especially to police dogs, is considered a felony. Anyone with information is urged to call the Warren County Sheriff's Department.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA
MORE: (general information)
The Warren County Sheriff’s Office Canine Unit was established in 1982 and currently has two teams that serve the citizens and law enforcement community in Warren County and throughout the region.  The teams include Master Deputy Brad Pugh and his canine Ammo and Deputy Jennifer Laney. Canine Teams must pass a certification every year after their initial basic school.   Canine Teams work regular uniform patrol and respond to a variety of calls such as:  burglaries, building searches, article searches, suspect tracking, area and building searches for suspects, narcotics and officer-safety assists.  Canine officers may also assist on other calls for service, but they try to stay available for calls where their dog may be deployed.  The teams participate in many civic functions and educational demonstrations throughout the year. All canines go home with their human partners where the dogs can be exposed to a more social atmosphere with the officer and his/her family.  They also stay healthier not kenneled together where there is an increased chance for spreading illnesses.  

In Loving Memory of
January 11, 2010

Handler: Zach Elfreich 
Evansville Police Department
15 N.W. M.L. King Jr. Blvd.
Evansville IN  47708
(812) 436-7956  Fax (812) 435-6231
website -
Award-winning police dog succumbs to lung infection
An Evansville Police Department K-9 was euthanized Monday morning after a short battle with an aggressive fungal disease in his lungs. The German shepherd, known as Lord, was an active police dog with the department and just five days shy of turning 3 years old, according to Sgt. Brent Hoover. Lord had served on the Police Department only since March and was handled by patrolman Zach Elfreich. Hoover, who oversees the K-9 division, said Elfreich has worked as a patrolman since 2005, but Lord was the first K-9 he has handled in his career.

"(Lord) was more than just a police dog, he was also a part of Zach's family," Hoover said. Hoover said Lord was diagnosed with a fungal disease known as blastomycosis just before Christmas. The disease, which generally affects dogs ages 2 to 4, causes lesions in various tissues and enlarges the bronchial lymph nodes on the animal's body. Most dogs with the illness show signs of fever and respiratory problems. Hoover said the department was hopeful initial treatments would work; however, Lord recently took a turn for the worse. "We had to have him put down, just to keep him from suffering," he said.

Lord served as one of six dual-purpose K-9s for the Evansville Police Department — there are nine total on the department. The dual-purpose K-9 is used both as a patrol and narcotics dog. During his short time on the force, Hoover said, Lord earned a number of distinctions, including the "Catch of the Quarter Award," which is given out by the U.S. Police Canine Association. Lord was winner for Region 5, an area that includes K-9s from police departments in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. Lord was buried Monday afternoon in the department's canine cemetery.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA