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 28, 2010
Handler: Officer Alex VanDerLinden  
Streamwood Police Department
401 East Irving Park Road
Streamwood, IL 60107
(630) 837-0953

Streamwood police’s K-9 Zarak dies

Streamwood Police Officer Alex VanDerLinden poses with Zarak, the German Shepherd K-9 officer that died early Tuesday. Zarak was the third K-9 employed by the Streamwood Police Department and the second VanDerLinden handled.

The Streamwood Police Department is mourning the loss of its K-9 officer, Zarak, who died unexpectedly Tuesday morning after a serious medical condition was detected only hours earlier. “He was kind of a fixture in Streamwood,” Deputy Police Chief James Keegan said of the nearly 8-year-old Zarak, who served the department for more than six and a half years. The purebred German Shepherd was cross-trained in a variety of skills, including building searches, missing person searches, narcotics detection and crowd control — all of which won him a second job with the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System’s Emergency Services Team.

“That’s not something NIPAS takes lightly, and neither did we,” Keegan said of Zarak’s proven skills. Zarak was the third K-9 officer to serve the Streamwood department. He worked and lived with his handler, Officer Alex VanDerLinden. Zarak’s death is devastating to VanDerLinden’s family and children, as well as the entire department, Keegan said. Earlier this year, Zarak had corrective surgery for a flipped stomach, a condition more common among larger dogs, Keegan said.

Though Zarak seemed to have recovered perfectly from that surgery, VanDerLinden noticed the dog was not quite himself during Monday night’s shift. Zarak’s not getting up during a traffic stop convinced him something was wrong. VanDerLinden brought his K-9 partner to Golf Rose Animal Hospital in Schaumburg where it was discovered that Zarak’s intestines had become twisted — a condition from which there’s virtually no chance of recovery. Veterinarians euthanized Zarak early Tuesday morning.

Keegan said many in the community have seen Zarak either in action on a call or through the department’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. The department’s first K-9 officer, Bismark, served for eight years. His successor, Nikko, never fully mastered all the skills expected of him and was replaced by the more proficient Zarak after nearly two years. The department is planning a memorial service for Zarak and considering what to do about his replacement. In the meantime, dogs from other departments will be borrowed through a cooperative arrangement. VanDerLinden was not available for comment Tuesday morning.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
May 24, 2010

Handler: Trooper Sharon Kopp

New Hampshire State Police
Field Operations Bureau
ATTN: Public Relations Unit
33 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305
(603) 271-3793

K9 Zelda died of cancer and was euthanized. The K-9 Unit is responsible for training patrol and specialty dogs for the New Hampshire State Police and other local in-state and out-of-state departments. The K-9 Unit trains teams in a basic patrol school which includes obedience, officer protection, criminal apprehension, building search, evidence recovery, crowd control and tracking of wanted or missing individuals. Each team tests for recertification annually.
The K-9 Unit is involved in over 1100 missions annually. Patrol-Narcotic teams assist several communities with school searches upon their request. The narcotic teams detect illicit drugs on the highways and in businesses, airports and residences assisting drug units, U.S. Customs, DEA, ICE, FBI and other agencies. They also assist corrections with searches of their facilities. Patrol teams search for wanted and lost individuals. They are also vital in the apprehension of burglary and robbery suspects and other individuals who fled from law enforcement.
The K-9 Unit gives support for the annual motorcycle week in Laconia during the month of June. Additionally, assistance is provided by the K-9 Unit at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway and at colleges for sporting and large events.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
January 8, 2010


Handler: Officer Thomas Clements
Stratford Fire-Police

Zak, with handler Officer Thomas Clements, demonstrates how a police dog would subdue a criminal and protect his partner during National Night Out last summer at Longbrook Park. Zak died Saturday at the age of 8. (Photo by John Kovach) Stratford police are mourning Zak, a police dog, who died while on duty Saturday.With Zak’s handler, Officer Thomas Clements, at his side, Deputy Chief Patrick Ridenour led a moment of silence for the dog during Tuesday night’s promotion ceremony at Town Hall.

“Officer Clements and Zak were a phenomenal team,” said Chief John Buturla. Zak, nearly 8 years old, spent six years partnered with Clements, having come to the department from Hungary. Zak was known for his numerous appearances at local schools and community events, but his abilities in the field were what made him special, police recalled. He assisted many departments in the area in tracking suspects, searching for missing persons and was especially adept at drug detection in vehicles and buildings alike.

Zak, along with Roscoe, Stratford’s remaining K-9, was one of the few dogs in the Northeast trained and drilled regularly to fly in a helicopter. In one case Zak was instrumental in the seizure of 300 pounds of marijuana. He helped seize hundreds more pounds as well. Zak won the Daniel Scott Wasson Memorial Award, given by the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association, once and was runner-up a second time. The award is given to the most outstanding dog, in memory of Milford K9 Officer Daniel Wasson, who was killed in the line of duty in 1987.

Buturla, who was a dog handler earlier in his career, said Zak and Clements improved not just the Stratford police K-9 program, but similar efforts in the region. Zak will be honored with a ceremony at the K-9 memorial in front of Stratford police headquarters at a date to be announced. Donations in memory of Zak will help obtain and train another K-9. Buturla said contributions may be sent to the Stratford Police Department, 900 Longbrook Ave., with checks made payable to the Town of Stratford K-9 fund. The first class to graduate from Stratford's Citizen Police Academy made a donation in 2008 to start preparing to raise the $13,000 needed to recruit and train a dog.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
April 12, 2010

Handler: Officer John Perry
Londonderry Police Department

268 A Mammoth Rd.
Londonderry, NH  03053
(603) 32.1118


R.I.P. Zip: Veteran of Londonderry K-9 unit dies

Londonderry K-9 officer John Perry straps a donated bulletproof vest on his partner Zip in this April 2009 photo.

Londonderry K-9 Officer John Perry, flanked by Charles George Trucking executives,
gives Zip a Christmas present in December 2008.

Officer Perry helps Zip unbox the gift.

Lt Chris Gandia lends an arm and a leg.

Zip, an eight-year veteran of the police department's K-9 unit, has died. The Belgian dog, who was partnered with K-9 Officer John Perry, died April 12 after suffering a major intestinal problem. He would have been 10 years old in July. Zip was born in Belgium and brought to the United States. He joined the Londonderry force in August 2001.  He was graudated from the New Hampshire State Police patrol school and certified as a patrol service dog in November 2001. Zip accompanied Officer Perry when he was called to active service in the Massachusetts Air National Guard following Sept. 11, 2001. In January 2004, Zip was certified as a narcotics detection canine. During his career, Zip tracked criminals, found the lost, and sniffed out illegal drugs. Last year, Zip was the first canine recipient of a Kevlar vest in the Granite State after Michael Simpson, then 12, of Chester, raised $600 to buy the bullet resistant cloak. Simpson began the fundraiser after seeing a news report of a police dog being shot dead. In March, Zip was moved to part-time status while Perry trained his successor.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA