Memorials to Fallen K-9s 

The F.A.S.T. Co. donates sets of memorial cards to  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
January 27, 2011

Handler: Sgt. Clay Benton
New Hanover County Sheriff's Dept
North Carolina

Handler: Sgt. Clay Benton
New Hanover County Sheriff's Dept
North Carolina

It sadden us to inform you that K-9 Car  passed away on 01-27-2011. K-9 Car
was a very loyal and committed partner to Sgt. Clay Benton and the New Hanover County Sheriff's Dept.
K-9 Car was also a very loved family man at home and we know he will be missed dearly.
 Please keep Sgt. Benton and his family in your hearts and prayers. 

In Loving Memory of
Nov. 2011

Handler: Police Officer Chris Singleton
Caseyville Police Department
E-W Municipal Police K9 Group
10 West Morris
Caseyville, IL 62225-5000
Phone: (618) 344-2152
(618) 344-2151
Chief: JD Roth

Caseyville police dog dies, buried in Sauget
K9 Colt, a 3 1/2-year-old Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd, ended his career as a K-9 like he started: with support from a wide and varied network.  The police dog was buried Thursday in a cemetery by the training grounds of the East-West Municipal Police K-9 Group in Sauget.  "This is where he had the most fun," said Colt's handler, Caseyville Police Officer Chris Singleton. "We would come here on our day off and just hang out."   Colt finished his watch on Nov. 1 when he died of thrombocytopenia, a condition in which the canine's low platelet count results in hemorrhaging. 
About two dozen of Colt's favorite two-legged and four-legged friends attended the procession and burial.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
October 10, 2011

Handler: Sgt. William Bontcue
Vineland Police Department
111 N. 6th St.
Vineland, NJ 08360

856-297-0429 or at

A Vineland police dog died after he was struck and killed by a motor vehicle Monday.  Police say "Clif" had just finished tracking a burglary suspect with his partner when a vehicle, driven by a 75-year-old motorist, swerved around an officer who was walking in the shoulder on Becker Drive.  Police say the officer had tried to signal the woman, but she disregarded it.  "Clif" was a 5-year-old German Shepherd from Czechoslovakia. He began working for the Vineland Police Department in 2008.

In this 2011 photo provided by the Vineland, N.J., Police Department, Vineland police dog Clif and his partner Sgt. William Bontcue pose
 for a photograph in New Jersey. Clif died after he was struck and killed by a motor vehicle Monday, Oct. 10, 2011. Police say "Clif" had just finished tracking a burglary suspect with Bontcue when a vehicle, driven by a 75-year-old motorist, swerved around an officer who was walking in the shoulder on Becker Drive in Vineland. Police say the officer had tried to signal the woman, but she disregarded it. Clif was a 5-year-old German Shepherd from Czechoslovakia. He began working for the Vineland Police Department in 2008.
 (AP Photo/Vineland Police Department) .   submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

K9 Clif was originally from the Czech Republic. He was "hired" by the Vineland Police Department in the beginning of 2008.
He graduated from the 34th Basic K-9 Patrol class in Atlantic County in May 2008.
He was assigned to the Patrol Division of the Vineland Police Department where he remained until his death.
A police K-9 fund has been set up by the Policemen's Benevolent Association,
 Local 266. P.O. Box 2272
 Vineland, N.J. 08362-2272.
 "PBA Local 266 K-9 Fund."


VINELAND — A K-9 Officer of the Vineland Police Department named Clif died Monday morning in the line of duty after being struck by a car on Becker Drive.  Clif, a 5-year-old German Shepherd, was hit by a motor vehicle at approximately 5:50 a.m.
He succumbed to his injuries around 7:00 Monday morning at Linwood Veterinary Hospital.
According to Vineland Police, Clif and his handler, Sgt. William Bontcue, were tracking for a suspect that had been breaking into cars in the area.  Bontcue and his K-9 officer were returning to their vehicle when a 75-year-old female driver who was traveling to work in Vineland swerved her car around a uniformed officer who was walking on the west-side shoulder of Becker Drive.  
The officer attempted to signal the driver with his flashlight, but she disregarded the signal and struck Clif as he and Bontcue were walking on the grass of a front yard on the west side of Becker Drive, police said. 

Vineland Police Captain Rudy Beu said the driver was issued motor vehicle summonses for reckless driving and failure to obey a police officer signal.  Clif hailed from Czechoslovakia and joined the Vineland Police Department in 2008. He completed three months of training with his handler and graduated from the 34th Basic K-9 Patrol class in Atlantic County in May of that year.
The K-9 Officer had worked with the Patrol Division of the Vineland Police Department since then, tasked with duties including criminal apprehension, building searches, article searches and tracking for suspects or missing persons, Beu said.
Beu said funeral arrangements would be determined by Sgt. Bontcue and  information on services was not yet available at noon on Monday.
Bontcue IV William <>

Memorial set for K-9


New Jersey

A memorial service will be held here Oct. 21 for Clif, the city’s first police dog to die in the line of duty. The service, preceded by a procession of K-9 units, is to begin at 10 a.m. in the Chestnut Assembly of God, 2554 E. Chestnut Ave. The Vineland church can hold nearly 1,500 people. “Clif was a Vineland police dog, he served the community,” said K-9 Officer Dwight Adams, who is handling arrangements on behalf of fellow K-9 Officer William Bontcue, Clif’s partner.

The community may attend the service, which will include a memorial video and remarks by city and police officials. The K-9 units’ walk is to begin at Landis Avenue at Route 55, then head down Landis Avenue to Brewster
Road ending at the church grounds.

Clif was cremated on Tuesday and his ashes will remain with his partner, according to police. Bontcue has received an outpouring of condolences from across the country, Adams said. Clif died at 7 a.m. Monday, two hours after a car struck him along Becker Drive. He had just completed a search for a burglary suspect when a 75-year-old woman served her car around a uniformed officer and hit Clif who was walking on a lawn with Bontcue. The 5-year-old police dog was rushed to the Linwood Veterinary Hospital, an area animal trauma center, but he was unresponsive when they arrived and never regained consciousness. Vineland Police Chief Tim Codispoti and Mayor Robert Romano are on the program for the service. Master K-9 Instructor Joseph Rodriguez of the Atlantic County K-9 Academy, who oversaw the training of the Bontcue-Clif team in 2008, is also scheduled to speak.

Life of Vineland Police K-9 Clif honored at Friday memorial service  -


A memorial service was held for K-9 Clif of the Vineland Police Department at the Chestnut Assembly of God Church Friday.
Sgt. William Bontcue, center, receives the flag during the service.

It was a day of fellowship and remembrance as K-9 Clif’s dedication to the Vineland Police Department was celebrated Friday. The 5-year-old German Shepherd was hit by a motor vehicle around 5:50 a.m. Monday, Oct. 10, and died from the sustained injuries about an hour later at Linwood Veterinary Hospital. Last Friday, fellow officers and K-9s from around New Jersey and surrounding states, remembered his service during a ceremony at Chestnut Assembly of God Church in Vineland.

“Today was fabulous,” said Sgt. William Bontcue of the Vineland Police Department on his feelings about the memorial service. K-9 Clif was Bontcue’s partner in the Patrol Division, responsible for catching criminals, building searches, searching for suspicious articles (such illegal substances) and missing persons. “The support we’ve received today was outstanding. I couldn’t have asked for a better service,” Sgt. Bontcue added. “Working with K-9 Clif was an incredible experience; an experience I’ll always cherish.”

According to reports, Bontcue and K-9 Clif were tracking a suspect who had been breaking into cars in the Vineland area.While they were returning to Bontcue’s police vehicle, a 75-year-old female driver swerved her oncoming car off the road, missing Bontcue, but hitting K-9 Clif.  Bontcue attempted to signal the driver using his flashlight, but the signal did not prevent the accident. Bontcue and the dog were standing in the front lawn of a home in the western portion of Becker Drive.

“It’s very unfortunate what happened,” said Vineland Police Chief Timothy Codispoti at the memorial service. “Under the circumstances, I feel that the service today was a fitting tribute to K-9 Clif.” Codispoti added that he was grateful to the many police departments represented at the memorial.“We have a tremendous amount of officers and officials from throughout the state and region that came out today over this tragedy we’re experiencing here in Vineland,” Codispoti said. “From throughout our region, many are supporting us today. It’s much appreciated.”

At the service, a firetruck hung a large American flag from the vertical ladder at one of the entrances of the church. K-9 units from as far north as Monmouth County and Trenton, and south as Cape May County brought their patrol dogs along, leaving their flashing lights on in memory of their fallen friend. Inside the church, officers folded a flag in memory of Clif, and presented it to Sgt. Bontcue. K-9 Clif was originally from the Czech Republic, prior to joining the Vineland Police Department in 2008.

Following a three-month training process, he graduated from 34th Basic K-9 Patrol classes in Atlantic County, and joined the Patrol Division of the Vineland Police Department. Despite the devastating setback, Bontcue said he will continue with the K-9 patrol. “I’m also a handler for K-9 Lido of the narcotics division,” Bontcue said. “It’s an incredible job. I plan on staying with it.”As for a bringing a new dog in to replace the vacancy left by K-9 Clif, Chief Codispoti said the plans are in the works.

“We currently host 3 dogs, with the loss of K-9 Clif,” Codispoti said. “We’ll be sitting down next week to discuss a replacement for Clif.” For Bontcue, he chooses not to call the next dog a replacement. “We can’t replace Clif. I do plan on working with a new K-9 for the patrol, however,” Bontcue said. “A replacement? No. A new partner? Yes.”
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA
Attended by Bob & Louise Krause

In Loving Memory of

Handler, Ray Carson
Ontario Provincial Police Department

OPP dog exhumed for proper display

First posted: Updated:

Famed OPP dog Cloud II was killed in 1975.

The remains of the first Ontario Provincial Police dog to die on duty were exhumed in North Bay, Ont., to be moved to a special new resting place outside police headquarters in Orillia, Ont.  Cloud II, a German shepherd, was shot and killed in 1975 by escaped murderer Donald Kelly. The dog was first laid to rest outside the former provincial police headquarters in the northern Ontario city. Now that the building is being vacated, the force wants to make sure Cloud II is not left behind. "We did not want to leave Cloud II's remains because he's part of the history of the OPP," said Staff Sgt. Rob McDonald.

The dog's remains were exhumed Wednesday, while his former handler, Ray Carson, who is now 76, looked on. Cloud II's remains will be cremated and moved to the OPP museum in Orillia, where there is already a special display dedicated to the dog. Not only was Cloud II credited with tracking down Kelly, who shot the dog dead as it tracked him to his hiding place in the woods after escaping from jail, Cloud II was credited with the capture of 123 fugitives over the course of his four-year career. He was inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame in 1974.
To this day, Cloud II is the face of canine operations for the provincial police force, with his photo appearing on many promotional materials and other literature.               UPDATE:

Legendary police dog getting a new final resting place


Cloud II was the first OPP police dog to die in the line of duty.

The remains of Cloud II, one of the most famous police dogs in Canadian history, has been exhumed from his grave in North Bay, Ont., in order to be moved to a permanent resting place.  For the last 36 years, the dog’s grave has been located at the North Bay detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police, a building now being vacated by the force. “We didn’t want to leave him behind,” said Staff Sergeant Rob McDonald. He will be moved to the OPP’s Orillia, Ont., General Headquarters.  In a brief four-year career, Cloud II and his handler, Constable Ray Carson, captured 123 fugitives and found “scores” of missing children and lost hunters.  The dog’s most famous takedown occurred in December 1973, when he and Mr. Carson followed two juvenile offenders to an ice hut on the outskirts of North Bay. Cloud II stormed into the hut and emerged moments later with a loaded rifle. Mr. Carson reported getting “quite a shock,” as he did not even know the suspect was armed. Before the night was over, Cloud II also forced another youth to drop his knife.  The acts earned Cloud II an induction into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame and an appearance on CBC’s Front Page Challenge.  In a small exhumation ceremony last Wednesday, Cloud II’s concrete casket was dug up and his remains transferred to a pet crematorium. Ray Carson, now a 76-year-old retired staff sergeant living in North Bay, was present along with his son, Tony.   After spending 36 years in a casket encased in concrete, the dog’s body was remarkably well preserved, witnesses reported. “He looked just like my dog laying down — he wasn’t decomposed at all,” said Sgt. Rob Mondor, an OPP K9 handler and friend of Mr. Carson.  In January, Cloud II’s cremated remains will be interred at a special exhibit containing other artifacts from the dog’s life.Cloud II’s final operation occurred in the late summer of 1975. Donald Kelly, facing trial for a double murder, overpowered a North Bay prison guard and fled with a rifle and stolen car, kicking off one of the most dramatic police chases in Northern Ontario history.  After 11 fruitless days tracking Kelly, OPP officers called in Mr. Carson and his famous partner to join the search.  In two weeks, following a tip from a railroad crew, Cloud II was able to pick up Kelly’s scent in Skead, Ont., more than 140 kilometres northwest of North Bay. Cornering the fugitive in a remote wilderness cabin, Mr. Carson sent Cloud II to disarm him. The dog lunged at Kelly and grabbed hold of his rear pant leg before the fugitive swivelled around, put his gun to the back of the dog’s head, and fired.

Constable Ray Carson and Cloud II captured captured 123 fugitives together and found “scores” of missing children and lost hunters

As Kelly fled into the woods, Mr. Carson shot him in the shoulder. The seriously injured fugitive was captured a few hours later. Convicted of the two murders, Kelly died in a B.C. prison in 2010.  Cloud II died at the scene, becoming the first OPP police dog to die in the line of duty.Last week’s exhumation also solved a long-simmering North Bay controversy about the true cause of Cloud II’s death. For years, rumours had swirled that Cloud II had been accidentally killed by a stray shot from either Mr. Carson or another officer on the scene. “The only wound we found was right behind the dog’s head, just like Ray Carson said,” said Const. Mondor. “Donald Kelly is the one who killed Cloud II.”   National Post   

In Loving Memory of

September 3, 2011
Handler: ?
Laredo Police Department

4712 Maher Ave
Laredo, Texas 78041

Dog Left Dead In Car After Heat Stroke
The Laredo Police Department is investigating the death of k-9 officer which occurred more than a month ago. The incident dates back to September third. According to the police department the officer in charge of dog named Chevy had just gotten home from his shift. He was unloading his gear out of the vehicle, and thinking he had taken the dog out of the police unit left him behind. Later that day, the officer went feed the dog, found that he was nowhere to be seen. That's when he realized, the animal was still in the car dead from the heat. Chevy was nine years old and had been with the force for six years. The officer whose named has not been released has been re-assigned to another division in the department. An internal affairs is investigating the case.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
September 20, 2011
Handler: Officer Pat Frezza
Brewster Police Department- K9 Unit
New York

Brewster police dog Cezar dies after 4-month battle with cancer; also served in Yonkers

In Loving Memory of
January 2001 - August, 2011
Handler: Inspector Pritchard
Department of Homeland Security  

We regret to report the loss of Police K-9 Cena, of the Department of Homeland Security - National Protection and Programs Directorate - Federal Protective Service. Cena was a graduate of the FPS Canine Academy at Auburn University Canine Detection Training Center. After her initial training, Cena was assigned to Inspector Douglas Pritchard. On August 31, 2011 explosive detector dog Cena passed away due to heart failure. Cena started her career in Region 8, Denver, CO and participated in numerous operational venues around the state of Colorado and across the United States supporting the USSS in dignitary protection. Cena was retired from service in November 2009 after serving FPS and its stakeholders for eight years.


Cena is remembered for her valiant service, courageousness and dedication to her explosives detection duties. She was a key player in promoting the FPS vision of “Secure Facilities, Safe Occupants” by promoting awareness, prevention, protection, and service. Cena is dearly missed by her handler and family, with whom she resided when she was off duty, as well as members of FPS and all federal employees and visitors who came in contact with her. She was a valued and loyal member of FPS and will be missed tremendously. We extend our condolences to Inspector Pritchard and thank him for his excellent care and devotion to Cena.

 submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
August 24, 2011

Handler: Officer Tony Greenway  
Burton Police Department
4090 Manor Dr.
Burton, MI 48519
Phone Number:  (810) 742-2542
Burton police dog Cade dies after being hit by car in off-duty accident
Burton's police dog Cade died Wednesday afternoon after he was run over by a car outside his residence, according to a press release. Sgt. Mike Odette said Cade was doing some training with his handler/partner Officer Tony Greenway around 3:30 p.m. when a tennis ball they were using got away and he went after it. He was then struck by the vehicle. Cade worked as a police dog for three years and had a "tremendous impact on the way apprehended countless fleeing felons, located lost individuals and assisted their fellow officers in the fight to keep drugs off our street," Odette said in the press release. "The loss of Case will have a lasting impact on our entire agency," Odette said. Odette said the incident was an accident and the driver will not face any charges. Cade and Greenway were honored in 2009 as Burton Police Officers of the year.  submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA
A local police department has announced that its police canine has passed away unexpectedly.

The City of Burton Police Department made the announcement Thursday after Cade, a German shepherd of unknown age, died from an off-duty accident the day before. Authorities did not offer further details as to the accident that claimed the
dog's life.
Cade served Burton and surrounding communities for three years alongside his handler, Officer Tony Greenway. During his short career, Burton Police said in a news release that Cade and Greenway had "a tremendous impact on the way police work was done in the City of Burton."
"As a team, they apprehended countless fleeing felons, located lost individuals and assisted their fellow officers in the fight to keep drugs off our streets," the release continued.
In 2009, Cade and Greenway were honored as Burton Police Officers of the Year for their hard work and dedication to their profession.
The loss of Cade will have a lasting impact on our entire agency," said Burton Police Chief John D. Benthall in the press release. "Our condolences go out to Officer Greenway and his family."

Burton Police Officer Tony Greenway (left) sheds a tear as Oakland County Sheriff's Department Deputy Robert Loken stands with his K-9 officer Eiko to salute the casket of Greenway's K-9 partner Cade during his funeral on Tuesday at the Burton Police Department. 'I knew when I started training him he was going to be a phenomenal dog. I was so happy for Tony and the city of Burton because I knew this was going to be a great dog. It was way too short for him to lose his life, ' an emotional Loken said. Loken was the first person to train Cade at the Oakland Police Academy and also recently lost his first K9 on May 12th, 2011. Cade was killed when he was hit by a car after chasing a ball that went into the street during a training accident Aug. 24th, 2011. The K-9 officer was buried next to his favorite tree behind the Burton Police Department.

In Loving Memory of
July 19, 2011

(generic .jpg)

Heat Blamed For The Death of Police K9

Heat has claimed the life of one of the Salina Police Departments K9’s.

Reporter: Shawn Wheat   Email Address:

On July 19th, around 3:00 p.m., a distraught department Canine Officer called the departments and informed them that his police dog, a German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois mix, had died. The department’s veterinarian ruled the cause of death was heat related. Though the police dog was watered and boarded in a kennel specifically designed to protect him from the weather, he succumbed to the persistent heat wave. In a news release, Salina Police Captain Mike Sweeney said, “we mourn the death of this dog, which was totally unexpected and devastating to the department. The Salina Police Department takes great pride in our canine program and we will continue to employ canine partners to serve and protect the citizens of Salina.”

In Loving Memory of
July 16, 2011

Ohio State Highway Patrol
P.O. Box 182074
Columbus, OH  43223

 Ohio State Highway Patrol is

Patrol Mourning Loss Of Drug-Sniffing K9 Cheisa

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is mourning the loss of one of their successful and dedicated drug-detecting K9s, Cheisa, who had been with the patrol since April 2004.  Cheisa died on July 16, following a brief illness.  K9 Cheisa, born in the Netherlands in 2002, was trained and certified in the detection of marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and their derivatives. She was certified in narcotics detection by both the Ohio Peace Office Training Council and the North American Police Work Dog Association.  K9 Cheisa and her handler, Trooper Ryan Stewart, were not only utilized by the patrol, but by various federal and local law enforcement agencies upon request.  In 2004, K9 Cheisa was awarded the Hero of the Year Award, for the sniff and seizure of $1,456,092 of U.S. Currency. K9 Cheisa currently holds an Ohio State Highway Patrol record for a 15-pound heroin seizure. During K9 Cheisa's tenure with the patrol, she was responsible for having seized $16,539,736 in recovered assets and illegal drugs. The following is an overview of K9 Cheisa's work:

   Seizure                             Amount                       Worth
Marijuana & BC Bud                     15 pounds                   $  651,200
     Cocaine                              121 pounds                  $6,200,000
     Heroin                                40 pounds                 $7,329,036
     Vehicles                                  10                         $94,000
   S. Currency                     Total ------                      $2,243,250

K9 Cheisa resided with her handler, Trooper Stewart and his family.
By Denise Yost
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA & Bobby Earl - FL

In Loving Memory of
July 20, 2011

Handler: Officer Troy Newell

Bartlesville Police Department
Bartlesville, OK

Another Bartlesville Police Dog Dies

 A drug search dog with the Bartlesville Police Department has died. This is the second Bartlesville police dog to die within a year.  The two-year-old Belgian Shepherd dog was found dead in his kennel Wednesday afternoon.
Bartlesville Police Chief Tom Holland says Copper was a very active dog and despite having shade and plenty of fresh water, the high temperatures may have been a factor in his death. Holland says the death does not appear to be suspicious but they are awaiting the results of an Oklahoma State University autopsy. Copper had been with Bartlesville Police for nine months.
The department has two other dogs, Apollo and Edy.  In 2010, Bartlesville Police say another one of their dogs was poisoned.  The 3-year-old German Shepherd named Cooper had to be euthanized after ingesting anti-freeze.
Related Story: Bartlesville Police Say Their Drug Dog Was Poisoned

By Craig Day, The News On 6

BARTLESVILLE, OK -- Police and animal lovers in one Green Country town are shocked and saddened by the loss of a K-9 officer.   A three-year-old German Shepherd named Cooper who worked for the Bartlesville Police Department had to be euthanized after ingesting anti-freeze.   That's tough enough. How it may have happened makes it even more tragic.

7/27/2010  Related story: Bartlesville Police's K-9 Officer Dies 
Bartlesville Police Officer Troy Newell's heart has been heavy. He's mourning the death of his partner, Cooper. They had spent almost every moment together for the past two years.  "He is an officer and he is my partner, and that's no different than if they would have killed my human partner," said Officer Newell.  "We don't know if it was accidental or someone would intentionally do something like that," said Cpt. Jay Hastings, Bartlesville Police Department.  But considering Cooper only left Newell's backyard and home to go to work, and never went anywhere without his handler, they say there's a good chance the poisoning was intentional.  "That's about as low, as low as you can go. That's just horrible," Newell said.  Newell believes someone may have jumped his back fence to target Cooper. His other dogs didn't get sick at all.  "Very lowdown, terrible people," Newell said.  It's a deeply personal loss, and a professional loss for the department.   "This dog went out on traffic stops and searched vehicles for narcotics and things like that, and I believe the dog also had the capability of tracking," said Hastings.  For now, caring for the department's remaining K-9 officer Eddie is making the loss a little easier. The dozens of sympathy cards and letters help too. That support is especially meaningful, as Newell copes with a special bond that has been lost.  His sadness is now combined with a desire for justice.  "I hope they're ready to go to prison for a very long time," said Newell.  The Bartlesville Police Department expects to get another police dog within the next couple of weeks from Holland to replace Cooper. 
Tips in the case can be called in to the Bartlesville Crime Stoppers at 918-336-CLUE.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
K9 CHEY & Puppy (GSD)
June 26, 2011

Metropolitan Police Department Training Unit

Two Police dogs die after being trapped in car during sweltering heat

Two police dogs have died after being trapped in a locked car without the windows open during yesterday’s hot weather. The car had to be broken into to free the Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd pup, at the Metropolitan Police Dog Training Unit in Layhams Road, Keston. The dogs, which had collapsed, were taken to a vets where they subsequently died. Temperatures yesterday soared to 85 degrees. A Met Police spokesman said: “On Sunday June 26 at approximately 11 AM staff at an MPS building were alerted to two police dogs having been left in an unventilated private vehicle. “Entry was forced to the vehicle and two MPS dogs, a working Belgian Malinois and a German Shepherd pup, were found in a state of collapse. “Both were taken to an emergency vets where they subsequently died.” An investigation has been launched by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and the Independent Police Complaints Commission has also been informed.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
June 4, 2011

Terry Dolquist
New Castle Police Department
New Castle, PA

Death of New Castle police dog investigated
By Moriah Balingit, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
New Castle police are investigating the death of their police dog Chico, who died shortly after being found unresponsive in the back of a police vehicle Saturday.  Chico was taken to a veterinarian but died shortly after. Police offered no other details about the incident. Questions were referred to Chief Thomas Sansone, who was unavailable for comment. 
Chico had been with the department since December 2009 and was assigned to a new handler in January.


NEW CASTLE (KDKA) — The New Castle Police Department is conducting an internal investigation into the death of one of its police dogs over the weekend.  Chico, a 6-year-old member of the department’s K9 unit, died Saturday after allegedly being left in a cruiser. According to a report from WKBN in Youngstown, the Dutch shepherd was left in the car for about two hours. In a press release, New Castle Police released few details about the incident — saying that “Chico was found unresponsive in the rear of the police vehicle [and] taken to a veterinarian but soon afterwards passed away.”
Chico has been a part of the New Castle police department since December 2009.
While officials have not identified Chico’s handler, police did say that his original K-9 handler was reassigned in January.
Chico was a 6-year-old , brindle-colored Dutch shepherd.
MORE about CHICO's history: 
January 2, 2010
TOP DOG: Police department’s newest K-9 reports for duty
By Lisa Micco

Two alpha males compete to be the top dog.
It’s been that way since New Castle police officer Terry Dolquist met his new partner, Chico.  However, when it comes to drug detection and tracking bad guys, Chico is the man.  The 4-year-old, brindle-colored Dutch shepherd joined the city’s K-9 unit in late October but officially reported for duty Dec. 16. That was the day Dolquist returned to work after serving one year in Iraq with the Army National Guard.  Prior to that, the two spent time training, bonding — and proving who’s boss.
“Basically, it’s getting him to know he needs to listen to me,” Dolquist said. “He’s doing good. He’s feisty. We’ve had a few little battles, but we’re OK.  “He’ll jump up and snip me. He’s given me little bites before, but we pretty much have gotten him out of that now,” he said. “It’s just new environments, new people, new trainer, new handler. The dog sometimes gets frustrated until he figures out, ‘Hey, this is my dad. This is who I’m going to be with all the time.’ ”

Dolquist, who joined the city police department in 1998, became a member of its K-9 unit in 2006 and partnered with Indy, a German shepherd. The two remained a team until Dolquist left Oct. 19, 2008, for Iraq. A specialist assigned to the 107th in New Castle, Dolquist was called to service with the 1-108th HHB field artillery, which is part of the 56th Stryker Brigade of Carlisle, PA.  “I was actually in-country for 7 1/2 months. The rest of the time I was in training,” he said, noting his stops at Fort Polk, La., and Camp Shelby in Mississippi before heading over-seas.  While in Iraq, he operated computers that controlled artillery guns miles away from his command center. Back home, Indy’s future was in limbo.  “With Terry being off for a year, we couldn’t let the dog sit,” police Chief Thomas Sansone explained. “It would be pretty much worthless a year later. So, I’d either have to retrain with Terry or retrain with another r and get it on the street quicker.”

However, another issue came into play.
“(He) ended up having a minor health problem that would slow down his
career here,” Sansone said. “I made the decision to retire him after receiving word from the vet.”  Dolquist planned to keep the 7-year-old Indy but being his caregiver half a world away proved impossible. So, Indy temporarily moved in with Dolquist’s father-in-law, Bo DeCarbo, a state police dispatcher. That arrangement became permanent.  “Those two are inseparable,” Dolquist said. “I wasn’t about to break that up.”  Yet, he wanted to remain with the K-9 unit. The problem was no money, no dog.  Sansone had to deliver the bad news.
“I said with the city in the financial condition that it’s in, I don’t see us purchasing one. We just can’t. So he asked me if he found some donors, would I let him do it. I said, ‘No problem here.’  “That’s what happened. He solicited some donations and some very nice people came forward and gave us some money we needed so we could buy the dog and go through the training.”

A police dog costs between $10,000 to $12,000, depending on its training and lineage, Dolquist noted. He began soliciting funds — even had some doors slammed in his face — but he was determined to get the department another drug detection and patrol dog.  His perseverance paid off thanks to contributions from Ed & Don DeCarbo Crematory Inc., Mr. Pizza, Mount Jackson Chiropractor Center, the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center’s LEAPS program and attorney Dallas Hartman.
Like Indy and some other members of the K-9 unit, Chico came from Tri-State Canine Services in Warren, Ohio, which specializes in training police dogs. Tri-State owner and trainer, Dave Blosser, is also a police officer and K-9 handler for the Fowler Township Police Department in Trumbull County.  “Indy was a lot more passive than this dog,” Dolquist said. “Chico is just energy like you wouldn’t believe. He is just crazy, and that’s why he does little nippings because he is so high strung.
“He doesn’t grab me and start tearing my arm up. He’ll just nip me. He hasn’t broken the skin yet. He’s cut my tour jacket once.”  Chico, who lives with Dolquist, has a kennel and a heated room specially built for him.  “He stays outside because I have two other dogs in the house. Dogs like him are alpha dogs and they’re real dog-aggressive, so we just keep them apart.”
Dolquist expressed concern bringing Chico to the police station for the first time.  “I didn’t know how he would be,” he said. “When I brought him to work and introduced him to everybody, he literally jumped up, put his front paws against their chest and licked their faces.  “Me, he bites. Everybody else, he licks their faces,” he said, laughing. “He’s a big baby, but when he gets into his zone and he knows he’s working, look out.”

Before the two reported to work, they spent weeks training, tracking and testing each other.  “This dog was more raw than our other ones because we got them already partially trained,” Sansone said.  Both Sansone and Dolquist are pleased with his progress. His first find was in an East Side residence.  He already hit on some narcotics,” Sansone said. “He’s working out pretty well.”  Dolquist works with Chico daily, putting down tracks to keep him sharp on drug detection. “He’s better than 90 percent each time.”  Chico uses passive indication when he locates narcotics. He tracks the drugs, then sits and stares.
“He won’t move,” Dolquist said. “Then I have to give him his (toy). He thinks he’s looking for that. When he smells those drugs, he thinks that’s his toy because his toy always pops out of there somehow.  “He’s on narcotics and patrol, which means he can track people, he can search houses for people who have broken in and are hiding inside. If someone attacks me, he will bite them. If there’s someone trying to flee a scene and we can’t catch him on foot, the dog will pull him down and hold him until we get there.  “As long as he follows that scent of whatever I got him trying to track, he thinks his toy is there,” he continued. “So when we do it in the real world, he’s still thinks, ‘Oh, my toy is at the end of this.’
But instead, we find the bad guy.

Read more:
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

CHERISHING CHICO   By jeanne starmack -

They stretched for blocks in front of the old Ben Franklin School on Cunningham Avenue on Thursday morning — cruisers for nearly 50 police K-9 units.  Handlers and their dogs from a 99-mile radius around the city had come to pay tribute to Chico, the New Castle Police Department’s 6-year-old Dutch shepherd who died Saturday evening after being in the back of a hot cruiser.  There is an internal department investigation into how Chico, whom the department had for two years, came to die in the care of his own handler, Officer James Hoyland. Lawrence County District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa also is conducting a criminal investigation.

In the school’s auditorium, Police Chief Tom Sansone did not say much about the circumstances that led to the dog’s death. It was a time to remember Chico and talk about his service to the community, which Sansone did along with a previous handler of Chico’s, Officer Terry Dolquist. Sansone did confirm some facts later for the press. Chico was in the cruiser for three hours and 45 minutes, he said.Chico’s handler, whom he would not officially identify as Hoyland, was working an extra shift on a housing-project patrol from 4 to 8 p.m. At 8 p.m., he was supposed to start his regular shift. He went to his housing-project patrol in a different vehicle, leaving Chico in their K-9 cruiser in the police station parking lot.

He left the car and its air conditioning running, Sansone said. But after two hours of idling, the air-conditioning system shut down. The car is equipped with a “hot box,” Sansone said. It sounds an alarm and lowers the windows if the car gets too hot. He said the hot box did not malfunction but would not say whether it was activated. The windows were up when the dog was found. Sansone said that when Chico’s handler found him at 7:45 p.m., he “went wild.”  “He rushed to get water and immediately went to a veterinarian,” Sansone said. Chico died at the vet’s.

Sansone said the department’s policy is that dogs are not supposed to be left in cruisers for long periods of time without their handlers. “Procedures are the dog should stay home in his kennel,” Sansone said.  Hoyland, who was Chico’s handler since January, is on unpaid leave during the investigations. He was not at the memorial service — he’d come by earlier, Sansone said.  Instead, it was Dolquist who remembered his time with Chico before he’d transferred from the K-9 unit to different duties in the department. He recalled their training sessions at Tri-State Canine Services in Trumbull County, Ohio, where the city bought Chico with $6,000 the community donated, and their first days on the job together. Chico, who was the department’s fourth dog, would never win any beauty contests.

“My first reaction was, God, that’s an ugly dog,” Dolquist said. “He looked like a hyena” with one floppy ear and a look like he would “take my face off,” he added. “Then, I learned he’d been in Iraq,” Dolquist said, explaining that the dog had been there with a private security company. About the same time, Dolquist also was serving in Iraq. In training, Chico was stubborn. “He had a high drive,” Dolquist said. He would lunge out and nip in frustration as if to say, “‘Hey, I don’t know what you want me to do — pay attention,’” Dolquist said, adding he almost gave up on the dog. Dec. 16, 2009, was Chico’s first day on the job. One of their first arrests, Dolquist said, was of a burglar who’d smashed into a vending machine in a barbershop. “We tracked him. It was pitch black. Chico got a scent and took off,” Dolquist said. Then, the tight leash suddenly went limp, and Dolquist tripped over something. He turned on his light and saw Chico on top of the suspect. “He was looking at me with that one floppy ear saying, ‘Let’s do this,’” Dolquist said.

Dolquist read a poem called “Guardians of the Night,” which describes a police dog’s loyalty to its handler.   “I will protect you with my last breath when all others have left you,” he read. “Know that each day at your side is my reward.”  Dolquist will keep Chico’s cremated remains for now, and eventually, the police department will keep them at a new police station on North Street. The department will move there in August. But before the remains would go to safekeeping, there was one thing left to do.  Dolquist carried them from the auditorium to the cruisers outside, and in a 15-minute procession through the city, Chico had his last patrol.  submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
May 2011

Handler: Sgt. Larry Peterson
Bagley Police Department
21 Getchell Avenue Northeast

Bagley, MN 56621
(218) 694-6226

WEBSITE -{2A8C0838-A366-429F-A624-57A3B94ADC1A}

 Police Dog Shot, Killed, Left on Roadside
A police officer in northwestern Minnesota is distraught after the slain body of his police dog was found along a country road. The dog was one of two that had been shot and killed with a small-caliber gun. Both appeared to have been killed elsewhere and dumped on the road. The dogs belonged to Bagley police Sgt. Larry Peterson Sgt. Larry Peterson. He says both were very gentle and would have been easy targets for whoever shot them. He says they weren't known for chasing livestock or deer, which are legal justifications for shooting stray dogs. The Grand Forks Herald report says the police dog was Copper, a hound-Labrador cross. The department has only three full-time officers and two part-timers, so the loss of a police dog is especially difficult. There are no suspects. 
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA


K9 "Copper" served The Bagley Police Dept. for 6 years. Found shot 5-10-11 along with 'Sally" his Buddy our other dog. Both dogs were adopted from shelters.
Sgt. Larry Peterson    MORE:
Peterson comes to Bagley from Kent, MN.  He graduated from Breckenridge High School in 1987.  Peterson attended Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls and earned a degree in Criminal Justice.  Peterson has been on the force since 1998 and has served as Patrol Officer and now as Sergeant and K9 Officer.  Sergeant Peterson is also the department's Firearms Instructor.

And that's been the general reaction that I've been receiving as people have found out about what happened." Minnesota law classifies the shooting of Peterson's Police dog, Copper as a felony, carrying a maximum sentence of 2 years in prison.

In Loving Memory of
May, 2011

Handler: Officer Jamie Ashworth
 Wappingers Falls Police Department

2628 South Avenue

Wappingers Falls, NY 12590-2752
(845) 297-2211

Memorial Scheduled for K9 Cody

K9 Cody, a dog who served the Village of Wappingers Falls Police Department for more than six years, will be memorialized and laid to rest in Mesier Park Saturday.  Cody died of canine ALS this spring, said Officer Jamie Ashworth. He was 9 years old and still working at the time of his death, Ashworth said.

The service will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 21 with a procession led by a bagpiper from Grinnell Library to the park, according to Ashworth. Mayor Matthew Alexander and Ashworth’s two daughters are expected to speak, and “Taps” will be played during the service, he said.  Cody will be given a firearm salute, Ashworth said. Ashworth said Cody’s ashes will be buried near Max, the department’s dog who died in 2006.

A new dog, named Cojak (his name a play on the names Cody and Kojak), will arrive in Wappingers Falls the first week of June, according to Ashworth.   Ashworth said the community raised more than $12,000 in two weeks this winter to help the department pay for the dog and its training.  submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

April 26, 2011
Handler: Officer Justin Coulter
Austintown Police Department
92 Ohltown Road
Youngstown, OH 44515-2350
TEL (330) 799-9721
Austintown police dog dies of cancer
Austintown police said goodbye to Conan, a 7 1/2 year-old German shepherd, on Tuesday. Conan, who was brought to the department in 2007 and worked with officer Justin Coulter, died of an aggressive tumor that spread throughout his body. Coulter described Conan as his best friend and said the dog was wonderful to work with.
Township police said goodbye Tuesday to one of their own. Conan, the department’s 7 1/2-year-old German shepherd, died Tuesday after battling an aggressive tumor that spread throughout his body, said Chief Bob Gavalier. The dog joined the department in 2007 and bonded quickly with his handler, officer Justin Coulter, who said Conan was wonderful to work with. “He was my best friend,” Coulter said. “He was a blast to work with, and we had a lot of success together.”

Between May 2007 and February 2011, Coulter and Conan had 37 felony and 185 misdemeanor arrests and conducted 485 narcotic searches, according to a news release issued Wednesday by Gavalier. The pair also confiscated several handguns during traffic stops and seized about $61,000 in U.S. currency due to Conan’s ability to detect narcotic odors. Gavalier said Austintown now has one police dog, Neo, who has been with the department for about six months. He said Conan will be missed by everyone at the department.

“It’s an unfortunate situation,” he said. “Having a K-9 in the past, it’s something that we know can happen.” Coulter said after handling Conan for nearly four years, he hopes the department will be able to acquire another police dog. “I was a first-time handler, and I’d really like to be able to continue,” he said. Gavalier said new police dogs cost about $15,000, and he’s looking into funding to replace their fallen friend. He said if the money isn’t available through the police department’s general fund, they’ll look for ways to raise the funds. “The passing of [Conan] was unexpected for officer Coulter and the Austintown Police Department,” he said. “No decision has been made at this time whether the department is able to replace this valuable asset to the community.”  submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
May 20, 2011
Handler: Officer Keith Carpenter 
Tunkhannock Police Department
126 Warren St # 1,
Tunkhannock, PA
TEL. (570) 836-3369
Retired Tunkhannock K-9 succumbs to illness

Borough police lost a veteran on Friday, as Chase, the department's former K-9 officer, died. "It was a complete surprise," said Officer Keith Carpenter, who was the dog's handler while she was on the force and later became her owner. A cancerous tumor ruptured in the dog's stomach, he said. "She was full of life until the end. She never slowed down until that last day." Chase was Tunkhannock's K-9 unit for nearly seven years, starting in late 2002, until retirement in 2009. She was cross-trained to handle narcotics investigations, protection and apprehension cases and was used for tracking missing persons.

Officer Carpenter said the German shepherd, who was Czech born and raised, was nearly a year old when she first came to the force, after he and Wyoming County Detective Dave Ide started the K-9 program in Tunkhannock. "I started off as the dog's handler," Officer Carpenter said. "And she became a partner to me." Chase was retired in 2009, and then became a family pet for the Carpenters, including wife, Kelly, son, Anthony, and daughter, Kelsey. He said that what he will miss most about Chase is her faithfulness. "She was faithful to the whole family," Officer Carpenter said.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

Handler:  Officer Eric Lukes
Minneapolis Police Department
350 So. 5th St.  RM #130
Minneapolis, MN  55415-1389

Minneapolis police mourn the loss of Chase, who leaped from the roof of a downtown building he and his partner, Eric Lukes, were searching.
Minneapolis police officer Eric Lukes and his canine partner, Chase, quickly made their way through the main floor of the old downtown Jaguar car dealership Monday morning, searching for three people suspected of stealing copper pipe.
They made their way up to the third-story roof, and still no thieves. Then Chase, off his leash and near the end of sniffing the 50-yard expanse, seemed to sense something. The 100-pound German shepherd took off running and leaped over a 3-foot concrete barrier encircling the rooftop. He plummeted to the ground below and died later at an animal hospital. Sgt. Dan May of the canine unit said he could only speculate why Chase, who had just turned three in August, went over the roof’s edge when the suspects weren’t in sight. “He could have heard a noise on the street. I just don’t know,” said May, a member of the unit for 13 years. “He couldn’t see what was on the other side.” It could have been that Chase did catch a scent, because shortly afterward, another police dog helped nab two of the suspects hiding in ductwork in a stairwell nearby. Although a half-dozen officers were involved in the search, May said there was no way the suspects would have been apprehended without the dogs. “The service that the canines provide is invaluable to safeguarding the lives of our officers, and the loss of a canine partner is very hard on the family of the officer, who raise these animals as their own,” Police Chief Tim Dolan said. It’s the third time since the canine unit started in 1971 that a dog has died in the line of duty. Two other dogs died jumping off roofs, one in the late 1970s and another in 1997, May said. “I’ve had to put a canine partner down because of illness, and that was very difficult,” May said. “But to see your dog die this way, I can’t imagine." May said that Lukes was very distraught, and that he hadn’t a chance to debrief him. Lukes will be on a standard three-day paid leave from the department.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minneapolis police K9 that died after falling from a rooftop during a burglary call received the department's Medal of Honor at an awards ceremony Monday.  On the morning of Nov. 30, 2009 the police dog Chase and his handler, Officer Eric Lukes, were searching the roof of the three story building on Hennepin Avenue when the dog slipped and fell . Chase was taken to the University of Minnesota for medical treatment but he was unable to be saved. Chase had been in service with the Minneapolis Police Department since 2007.
“The MAD family is saddened by this loss and by what it means to Officer Lukes and his immediate family,” Police Chief Tim Dolan said, following the dog's death. “The service that the canines provide is invaluable to safeguarding the lives of our officers and the loss of a canine partner is very hard on the family of the officer who raise these animals as their own.”  The Minneapolis Police Department held an awards ceremony at City Hall on Monday, honoring 28 officers and citizens

In Loving Memory of
April 14? 2011

Handler: Steve Brownell
 Delaware County Sheriff Office
P.O. Box 476
Jay, OK  74346

Delaware County Police Dog Remembered For Service, Sacrifice

Dozens gathered Thursday to honor Chico at the Delaware County Courthouse.

Brownell holds the American flag during Thursday's ceremony to honor Chico.

A special memorial service was held Thursday for a canine officer who died from cancer after being exposed to meth chemicals. Chico was remembered for bravery, loyalty, hard work, and the bond between him and his handler. "One that when he come out, he was ready to work," Robert Rowley, Delaware County Undersheriff, said. Deputy Steve Brownell lost a partner and friend. "He was my boy. He was my partner. He was there with me every day," Steve Brownell, Delaware County Deputy, said.

All these people are here to honor Chico, a canine officer who had been with the department since 2007. "It's tough on everybody. It very well is, he will be missed very much so," Undersheriff Rowley said. Chico developed cancer after being exposed to chemicals at a meth house. Round after round of chemo didn't work. His condition worsened and he had to be euthanized. "I took him there and sat him down, said my goodbyes and I walked out," Brownell said.

It's the most difficult thing Brownell has ever had to do. Losing Chico is hard, not only on Brownell, but also his wife and children. There is always an attachment, but in this case, that bond is like few others. "Me and that dog went through a lot. Went through a lot," Brownell said. Chico was with Brownell the night the deputy was shot and damaged his teeth trying to get out of his cage and to his partners side. That led to extensive dental work, paid for with donations raised from a community that rallied around Chico.

"We never spent one county dollar, one taxpayer's dollar for his treatment. It was all done through the help and support of the community," Rowley said. That hurdle was cleared and Chico returned to duty, but then came the cancer. It finally was too much. During his service with the Sheriff's Office, Chico took part in more than 100 vehicle searches. He also helped search for missing people like Alzheimer's patients and children.

submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
March 25, 2011

Handler: Sgt. John Elgin.
Thomasville Police Department
7 West Guilford Street
Thomasville, NC 27360-3932
(336) 475-4260

Thomasville K-9 Officer Cheko died from unknown causes Friday, according to police.  Cheko began his career with the Thomasville Police Department on October 4, 2004. The K-9 helped track down various criminals including one suspected of stabbing someone in the chest and another who assaulted an elderly woman.  During his second week of duty, Cheko found a $24,000 cash seizure and a small amount of cocaine during a vehicle stop, police said.  Cheko was a support unit for any division of the agency and was always ready to answer the next call of duty, according to police.  He had a total of 37 “non-contact” captures and one handler protection contact over his six-year career.  Cheko participated in demonstrations for local schools, civic groups, churches, Boy Scouts and retirement homes.  

The funeral is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 7 at Thomasville Funeral Home, 18 Randolph St. The public is invited. Cheko had been with the Thomasville Police Department since October 2004. He had been involved with numerous drug and assault cases and also visited schools, churches, Boy Scout events and retirement home functions while accompanied by his handler, Sgt. John Elgin. The public is invited to attend.

Cheko's history:
  • While on his second week of duty for the police department, K-9 Cheko was deployed to assist the Davidson County Sheriff's Department with a vehicle stop. A vehicle sniff and alert by K-9 Cheko yielded a cash seizure of $24,000 and a small amount of cocaine.
  • A week later, K-9 Cheko was deployed again assisting the Davidson County Sheriff's Department with searching for a suspect who had stabbed a subject in the chest. K-9 Cheko began his track and found the suspect and the weapon used a half-mile away from the scene.
  • K-9 Cheko assisted the Thomasville Police Selective Enforcement Team and helped their initiative on combating the trafficking of illegal narcotics, contraband, and drug-related US currency.
  • K-9 Cheko also assisted the Thomasville Police Vice/Narcotics Unit and NC State Bureau of Investigations in 2005 with local storage building sniffs. One sniff and alert allowed detectives and agents to obtain a search warrant that yielded the seizure of one kilo of marijuana. The owner/suspect of the storage unit cooperated with detectives and agents and provided information that led to the seizure of millions of dollars worth of narcotics and US currency in the state of California.
  • K-9 Cheko was deployed on a track for a suspect who assaulted an elderly woman and robbed her of forty dollars in her purse. K-9 Cheko tracked the suspect to a nearby home, where excellent investigations by the Thomasville Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division led to the arrest of the suspect for the crime.
  • Cheko was a support unit for any division of the agency and was always ready to answer the next call of duty. He had a total of 37 "non-contact" captures and one handler protection contact over his six-year career.
  • K-9 Cheko participated in demonstrations for local schools, civic groups, churches, Boy Scouts and retirement homes.

A memorial service for K-9 Officer Cheko will be held on Thursday, April 7th at 6:00 pm at Thomasville Funeral Home, located at 18 Randolph Street, Thomasville.

"Cheko is now in heaven," Thomasville Mayor Joe Bennett told the audience. "I doubt there are drugs there, but he is looking for something and having fun."

Thomasville police, residents say goodbye to police dog who died of poisoning

Kisha Yokeley speaks during a memorial service for Cheko, who was a member of the Thomasville Police Department K-9 unit.


Lee Trotter of the Triad K9 Bloodhound Team is greeted by his dog, Montana Rose, during Cheko's memorial service.

Thomasville police paid their final tribute Thursday to Cheko, a 9-year-old police dog who died two weeks ago after being poisoned.

About 150 people gathered for a memorial service for Cheko at the Thomasville Funeral Home, including law-enforcement officers from several departments. Cheko worked primarily as a drug-detecting dog and was trained as a tracker. He was one of four dogs in the K-9 unit.


Before the service, Police Chief Jeffrey Insley said an autopsy determined that Cheko had been poisoned. Cheko died in his kennel at the Randolph County home of his handler, Thomasville Police Sgt. John Elgin. Thomasville authorities are working with the Randolph County Sheriff's Department to determine how the dog ingested the poison, Insley said. After the service, Kim Elgin, John Elgin's wife, said Cheko was sluggish on March 23.


She and her husband thought the dog might be suffering from a stomach aliment. Two days later, John Elgin found Cheko dead inside his kennel. Kim Elgin said she believes someone intentionally poisoned Cheko, who had worked as a police dog in Thomasville since 2004. He was scheduled to retire on April 1. "We just got to prove it," she said. "Who would want to hurt a sweet dog like that? He didn't deserve it."


John Elgin said Thursday night that additional tests will determine what chemicals killed his dog. "It could have been an act of retaliation from a past arrest, but we are not going to point any fingers until we complete our investigation," he said. During the service, Insley said Cheko was a member of an elite group. "Any new dog who takes Cheko's place will have big paws to fill," he said. The dog worked hard but was also playful and loved children. "Cheko is now in heaven," Thomasville Mayor Joe Bennett told the audience. "I doubt there are drugs there, but he is looking for something and having fun."

submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
September 8, 2003 - March 26, 2011

Handler: Officer Ian Leong
Czech Republic
Martinez Police Department
Chief of Police Tom J. Simonetti
525 Henrietta St.
Martinez, California 94553

Martinez police dog Canto dies

A seven-year-old Martinez police dog died Saturday from complications associated with pneumonia-related symptoms, police said. Canto, who was born in the Czech Republic, had been Officer Ian Leong's partner since 2005. Leong and Canto completed courses in canine protection and narcotics detection. Canto also had specialized training in tactical deployments with the SWAT team, according to a news release.
Police stated that Canto was responsible for many felony arrests and drug discoverie.
Lisa P. White covers Martinez and Pleasant Hill.  Contact her at 925 943.8011.  
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA
The following information is from the Martinez Police Department:

The Martinez Police Department and citizens of Martinez have lost a much loved police canine. Officer Ian Leong's canine partner of six-years, Canto, was unable to overcome complications from pneumonia related symptoms and passed away Saturday. Canto was born in the Czech Republic on September 8, 2003.
Officer Ian Leong and Canto have been assigned to the canine unit since June 2005. In August 2005, Officer Leong and Canto completed a month long canine protection course. In 2006, they completed a narcotic detection course. Canto also had specialized training and experience in tactical deployments in conjunction with SWAT.
During his six-years of service, Canto was responsible for numerous felony apprehensions and narcotic detections. Countless suspects surrendered as a result of Canto's mere presence. Canto served the community with distinction and will be greatly missed. If you would like additional information regarding Canto or the canine program, please contact Sergeant Glenn Walkup at (925) 372-3440. Our condolences to Officer Leong & the Martinez Police Department.

Read more:

In Loving Memory of
February 21, 2011

Milwaukee Police Department
6929 W. Silver Spring Dr.
Milwaukee, WI  53218

Milwaukee police remember, honor K-9 Officer Cyrus
Officer Cyrus served with his human partner since November 2007

Milwaukee police say one of its K-9 officers, a dog named Cyrus, had to be put down Sunday night. Cyrus developed pneumonia along with an infection from which he wasn't going to be able to recover. Cyrus was a five-year-old German Shepherd assigned to Milwaukee Police Officer Dereck Vernon of the Neighborhood Task Force. He served as a Milwaukee Police K-9 Officer since November 2007 and also lived at home with the Vernon family. A police spokesperson says Cyrus and his partner took a significant number of criminals, weapons and drugs off Milwaukee's streets.
submitted by Jim Cortina, CPWDA Dir.
Policeman's Best Friend -
By Dan O'Donnell

The Milwaukee Police Department is mourning the loss of one of its most trusted investigators.  Cyrus, a five year-old German Shepherd assigned to the Neighborhood Task Force, died Sunday night.  For more than three years, he and his partner and best friend, Milwaukee Police Officer Dereck Vernon would patrol the streets of Milwaukee by day and return home to Vernon's house each night.  "When you lose a dog like him, it's like losing a part of yourself," explains the Department's head K-9 Unit trainer Todd Johnson.  "What people don't understand is that we don't just work eight hour shifts with these animals, we take them home and make them a part of our families."  Officer Johnson and his partner, a German Shepherd named Dasty, knew Cyrus well.  "He was a tough dog, but very lovable; one of the first things we do is to pair up the dog's personality with a good human partner, so we knew he would be a perfect fit for Officer Vernon. And he was!  Those two were as close as any friends could be."  "The two of them not only spent each day as partners, but Cyrus lived at home with the Vernon family," said Milwaukee Police spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz.  "In the three years they worked together, Cyrus and his partner took a significant number of criminals, weapons and drugs off our streets."  The Department reinstated its K-9 Unit in late 2007 after an eight-year hiatus, and Officer Johnson became its head trainer. "You end up with this incredible bond and this attachment with these animals because they work so hard and so faithfully just for the praise of their handler.  That's what they're all about."  The Johnson family fell in love with Dasty as soon as Todd brought him home.  His 6 year-old and 3 year-old daughters play with him constantly, take him for walks, and treat him as a normal dog...who just so happens to help arrest dangerous criminals and sniff out illegal guns and drugs." It's like switching off a light switch when we take him home and he's just like any other pet," Johnson explains.  "But when you take him to work and switch that light back on, he's all business."  That business can often be invaluable since K-9 dogs' sensitive noses can sniff out suspects, drugs, or even guns and bombs far quicker than a human can spot them.  As a result, Johnson believes Dasty, Cyrus, and the other four German Shepherds who make up the K-9 unit save the Milwaukee Police Department hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars each year.  Yet beyond the high-profile investigations, high-pressure searches, or any of the work they do together, the dogs and their handlers share an unbreakable bond. "You end up with a commitment that goes far beyond an eight-hour shift here," Johnson explains.  "You have to be mindful of that dog's health and well-being 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  They really become a part of your family."


In Loving Memory of
February 17, 2011

Handler: Patrol Officer Neil Barbour
Darby Borough Police Department

821 Summit Street

Darby, Pennsylvania 19023
Phone: (610)586-1100 - Fax: (610)461-5600

K-9 served Darby right up until the end
A very rough day was made a little bit easier for Darby Borough Patrol Officer Neil Barbour when K-9 teams from several surrounding police departments showed up to offer him support. It’s a week today since Barbour’s partner for the last three years, a Belgian Malinois named Chico, had to be put down due to a cancerous tumor. “Chico gave no apparent signs of his illness and worked wholeheartedly up until his body could not perform,” fellow borough Officer Brian Evans told Cop Shop this week. In fact, the canine worked the prior weekend. And like every shift, he gave his all.
As the sad news about Chico began to spread, Evans said handlers from other departments, including Upper Darby and Folcroft, began to arrive at the station to lend support. He said Chico will be remembered as an exceptional patrol and narcotics-detection dog. Chico began serving in Darby Borough in the spring of 2005, after he was acquired from Stafford Township, N.J.  He was originally handled by Officer Timothy Hannigan
 until February 2008. Chico was then partnered with Barbour. Chico was responsible for countless drug seizures and the apprehension of several criminals during his career. To list all of Chico’s accomplishments, Evans said, “would take all day and then some.” Chico certified annually with multiple accredited organizations. “Chico will be missed by Darby police and Patrolman Barbour’s family,” Evans said.
 submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

January 15, 2011
Handler: Officer Suzanne McCrosson
New York Police Department

Charlie, former NYPD K-9 dog who scoured WTC after 9/11, is mourned

Charlie (l.), a former member of the NYPD’s K-9 Unit who worked at Ground Zero after the 9/11 terror attacks,
lived out his retired years with his partner, Suzanne McCrosson, and her family.
A beloved 9/11 hero has gone to Rainbow Bridge. Charlie, a former member of the NYPD K-9 Unit who scoured the rubble at Ground Zero after the World Trade Center attacks, died last week of natural causes. He was just months shy of his 13th birthday. "We cherished him," said Police Officer Suzanne McCrosson, Charlie's owner and handler, who spent six years patrolling the streets of New York with her loyal companion. "What I remember most vividly of the day I first got him was his sweet eyes and all that hair!" she recalled. "Little did I know at the time what a rare and special gift I was given."

In 2000, Charlie was 13 months old and untrained when he arrived from the Czech Republic. McCrosson knew little about handling dogs when she switched to the K-9 unit after eight years on the force. But after completing a 16-week training program at Fort Totten, Queens, the duo had developed a mutually strong bond. When he first hit the streets, Charlie patrolled the five boroughs in eight-hour shifts. As a patrol dog, he was trained to detect human scent, and on any given day could go from hunting a felon to searching for a lost child.

Just a year into the job, however, the Trade Center disaster left the NYPD K-9 unit strapped for resources. Charlie and the other patrol dogs were quickly cross-trained - learning search-and-rescue techniques to work at Ground Zero. McCrosson was amazed by the fearless dog's innate abilities to calmly scale 20-foot drops while scouring the wreckage, she said. Charlie worked until age 7, when McCrosson became pregnant with her second child and requested a transfer to a less demanding job.

It was with a heavy heart that she requested the department retire him, "so he could stay with our family," she said. Currently, the NYPD K-9 Unit has 41male dogs, mostly German shepherds, that are bought from breeders in Europe at around 1 year of age. Two of the remaining 9/11 dogs, Buddy and Justice, are living out their retirements with their handlers. Meanwhile, McCrosson said all of the city's brave dogs have earned their place in doggie heaven. "Charlie and the K-9s we had the privilege of working with served this city with great dignity and loved doing it," she said.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

Police K9 officer dies after shift work
Manteca police canine “Coal” died following an uneventful  shift assignment at the home of his officer partner.  The five-year-old police dog doubled as a family pet.
Manteca Police Officer Randy Chiek has lost his canine partner “Coal”.
“Coal” passed away at his home on a recent Sunday morning after being struck with a case of bloat to his gastric system.
Chiek, who has served as a police canine officer for some five years, said he got off work at 4 p.m. and fed “Coal” at about 7 or 8 p.m. that night.   He found his partner lying in his Igloo dog house unresponsive the next morning.
The police dog doubled as a family pet involving himself with Chiek’s wife Tammy and sons Logan, 13, and Lance, 9. 
 Logan would go out and play with “Coal” on a daily basis and Lance took on the feeding duties each evening.
The officer said it was heart wrenching on the following Wednesday night when he was in the back yard and Lance walked up behind him in his usual habit of feeding the dog, quickly realizing what he was attempting wasn’t possible.
Before Chiek first put the canine in his patrol car last March, “Coal” was assigned to Officer Paul Garcia – an officer who was laid off in the city’s economic crunch.  It was actually a month later when Chiek retired his longtime canine partner “Blade” that “Coal” would go to work with him – the last of four dogs he handled over the dozen plus years.
The Manteca canine officer hopes to purchase another dog from a European country in about three months and use the remainder of the year training him for police work.  He will in the meantime work patrol duties.
Another officer is soon expected to fill the slot “Coal” has left open.  Next January will be Chiek’s first opportunity to return to canine work with a new dog that is expected to cost him upwards of $1,000.  The city does not pay for the law enforcement police dogs that serve in the department.
“Coal” has several arrests to his credit, but no bites. 
He was so big he didn’t have to do anything but bark,” the officer said.
Chiek remembers one call when Officer Garcia responded to a parole arrest and search of an offender who had refused to come out of his house.  All “Coal” had to do was to enter the residence.  Parole agent Paul Robison was obviously impressed with the dog’s intimidation.
Chiek voiced his concern  that the public be made aware of the cause of bloating in dogs and especially how to detect the symptoms because  it can be a sure and sudden killer.
It is described as “stomach torsion” or “twisted stomach” that should be recognized as an extremely serious condition and should be considered as a life-threatening condition when it occurs, he noted.
Chiek noted that dogs can die within several hours saying that  home remedies have no effect and a veterinarian is the only hope.  Even with emergency medical treatment, some 30 percent of its victim canines do not survive.
Bloat is said to be caused by different and some unknown reasons where the stomach fills up with air putting pressure on the dog’s organs and diaphragm.  The pressure on the diaphragm reportedly creates a restriction to the animal’s breathing.   Large veins are often compressed by the air-filled stomach preventing blood from returning to the heart.  
The officer added that when the stomach is filled with air it can easily flip itself “pinching off” the blood supply.  
A dog of mixed breed is less likely to develop the gastric dilatation and ovules than larger canines with thin chest structures.  A Great Dane is listed as at the highest risk compared to 24 other breeds.  
A St. Bernard is second followed by a Weimararaner.  Next is an Irish Setter followed by:  Gordon Setter, Standard Poodle, Basset Hound, Doberman Pinscher, Old English Sheepdog, German Shorthaired Pointer, Newfoundland, German Shepherd, Airdale Terrier, Alaskan Malamute, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Boxer, Collie, Labrador Retriever, English Springer Spaniel, Samoyed, Dachshund, Golden Retriever, Rottweiler, mixed breed and Miniature Poodle.
Dogs older than seven are more than twice as susceptible as those two to four years old.    Dogs that are fed only once a day are twice as likely to develop the bloating condition as those that are fed morning and night.  It is recommended that dogs not be exercised an hour before eating or two hours after a meal.
Animals that have nervous, anxious or fearful makeup's are also said to be at an increased risk.  It is believed that the dogs swallow air while they are eating and are unable to remove it from their stomachs unlike a human that can remove the accumulated air by belching that is normally swallowed during the course of their day.
A pet education website reports there is no one particular activity that leads to the development of bloating Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus.  It noted that it appears as actually a combination of events that occurs as a result of swallowing air.  A swollen stomach is reported to be the first sign of abdominal distention along with vomiting where nothing comes up. `   
By Glenn Kahl Reporter  209-249-3539
contributed by Jim Cortina, CPWDA Dir.

Chaos, a township police dog for eight years, died of cancer Jan. 8.
(Photo courtesy of Chesterfield Township Police Department)

He was loyal, protective and Chesterfield Township police Sgt. Ken Franks will likely never have another partner like him. Chaos, Franks' full-service police dog and partner, lost a very brief battle with an aggressive form of bone cancer Jan. 8. "He was a one-person dog and he was my partner 100 percent of the time. Anytime I got a call he went with me," Franks said. The 9-year-old German shepherd had also become a popular fixture while off duty, appearing with Franks at many events and visiting students in their classrooms. He had a personality that prompted boundless energy, so much so that Franks would often be asked to clarify Chaos' age because he was enthusiastic like a puppy. "He was definitely the life of the party, he loved people," Franks said. Chesterfield Police Chief Bruce Smith described Chaos as a great dog who was not only kind and gentle with kids but also a very skilled police dog. Appearances at everything from the local air shows to the Gratiot Cruise, meant Chaos and the department's other canine officer, Bulzi, were well known in the community. "This dog was just wonderful for public relations for our department, everywhere he went people loved him and Sergeant Franks," Smiths aid.
It was just weeks ago when Franks noticed Chaos was limping so he took him to a veterinarian who found swelling in his leg and attributed it to a torn ligament. Another trip back to the vet and a more extensive x-ray spotted a mass of cancer the size of a softball in the dog's chest. Franks then took Chaos to a specialist in Oakland County who confirmed the harsh diagnosis, an aggressive form of bone cancer that had already spread to the dog's lungs." They said he had one or two months to live at the most and, even if we had caught it on the first day he got it, it wouldn't have mattered because that's how aggressive this cancer was," Franks said. "He got worse and worse very quickly and was on lots of pain medication." Chaos lived with Franks, his wife Jenny, their 10-month-old son and two other family dogs. It's an experience the officer won't soon forget.
An impressive career
Chaos came to the department in 2002 when he was 16-months-old. Franks traveled to Ohio to pick his new partner up, along with fellow officer, Chris Swanson, who was picking up the department's other police dog, Bulzi. Chaos, who was born in Czechoslovakia, was a certified Patrol Dog with the International Police Working Dog Association.
"We attended a canine academy together where I was taught how to train him," Franks said.
Trained to locate explosives and known as a bomb sniffing expert, Chaos was eventually certified to identify 24 different smells. He was also a full-service police dog responsible for protecting Franks on the job when suspects got out of hand, while also tracking criminals and assisting with evidence searches. "His presence alone stopped so many things from happening," Franks said.
There was the time Franks arrived at the scene of a domestic violence situation and while the victim, a bloodied female stood by, the suspect came at Franks even after he drew his gun.
"The guy was going to fight me and as soon as I let the dog out of the car the suspect laid right down on the ground," Franks said. "And things like this happened so many times throughout my career, which is why you can't really quantify what a difference the dogs have made, you can't measure what they've done for our department." 
Franks said Chaos tracked and caught between 20 and 30 kids who were breaking into parked cars last summer and other robbery incidents in certain areas slowed when potential thieves heard a four-legged officer would join the hunt for them.
"When the word got out we had dogs things stopped and it really slows down the number of incidents we have overall," Franks said. "And (Chaos) has bitten a few people but it was always a deserving suspect who was fleeing."
As to statistics during his years with the department, Franks said Chaos' longest tracking run was four miles and allowed officers to catch four robbery suspects. He was utilized in over 400 calls and was directly involved in the arrest of over 70 people.
Future full service dogs
A decision about bringing another canine onto the squad anytime soon is something that is up in the air at this point, according to Smith. "We'll have to see what happens with budgets, these are tough times so we'll have to see how it goes," he said. Chesterfield Township Clerk Jan Uglis, who worked at the department before being elected, has been a longtime supporter of the canine unit and feels the dogs play a large role in supporting the law enforcement team. She does not support cutting the K-9 program. "These dogs are absolutely a great thing and really such a deterrent to crime," Uglis said. "Do we need a dog trained in bomb sniffing? No, but we definitely need two drug dogs and those dogs are also trained in tracking." Uglis also noted a personal attachment to Chaos saying she was working at the police department when he came on board eight years ago and was such a friendly dog that even her granddaughter, Isabella, got attached to him. "It all just happened so fast, he didn't even get a chance to retire," Uglis said. "When I found out I must have cried for three days, it was just so emotional and Ken was just so great with him, he was his partner for sure."  Another service dog isn't something that Franks is even thinking about yet. The memories of his loyal partner are still fresh in his mind." This is the best job I've ever had and Chaos was the best partner in the world," Franks said.
Barb Pert Templeton - Voice newspapers
Barb Pert Templeton is a freelance reporter. She can be contacted at
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA