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
September 4, 2011
Handler: Officer Tom Dilley 
Ridgecrest Police Department
100 W. California Avenue
Ridgecrest, CA. 93555
Ridgecrest PD loses one of its police dogs
Ridgecrest canine Nitto and Police Officer Tom Dilley
Nitto, one of two Ridgecrest Police Department canines, died unexpectedly Sunday. He was 11 years old. The German shepherd served with the department for nearly six years, and was still active at the time of his death. Nitto’s assignments included drug detection, crowd control and protection of officers. “He always did the demonstrations at the open house. He’d go to all the schools,” said Sgt. Jed McLaughlin. The kids loved him.” Nitto’s handler, Officer Tom Dilley, said the canine performed searches for drugs in residences and vehicles and protected officers. “He was one of the family here at the station,” McLaughlin said. “He loved being here. Everyone here loved him.
He owned the place.” Dilley said Nitto was like a big puppy. “He was great with kids,” he said. Dilley said the dog was among the top dogs in tracking and obedience competitions. “He was another officer around here,” McLaughlin said. “He ran this place. This was his domain.” He said Nitto lived with Dilley and his family.
Ridgecrest police officers are wearing black bands on their badges in honor of Nitto.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
(no photo of K9 Riley)   Above: (K9 Nitro)

Handlers: Deputy Chris Lyons (Riley)
Deputy Mitch Morgan (Nitro)
Kanawha County Sheriff's Dept.
Charleston, W. VA

Sheriff's department police dogs join national memorial
 Two fallen Kanawha County Sheriff's Department police dogs will be memorialized
at the American Police  Hall of Fame in Florida.

Riley, a police dog assigned to Deputy Chris Lyons; and Nitro, assigned to Deputy Mitch Morgan, both recently died while serving with the sheriff's department canine unit. The dogs and their handlers were inducted into the American Police Hall of Fame at a regular meeting of the Kanawha County Commission on Thursday.

Jack Rinchich, a former Charleston police officer, chief of police for the University of Charleston and president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, honored the dogs and their handlers on Thursday. The National Association of Chiefs of Police oversees the Police Hall of Fame, which memorializes both fallen police officers and fallen canine officers.  "You have to realize that these dogs would die for you, and you don't even have to ask them to," said Ronald Mathis, who trained both Riley and Nitro. "It's what they're trained to do, but they want to do it."  Rinchich said there is a unique bond between police officers and their canine partners.  The honor came during an unusually brief 30-minute county commission meeting in which Commissioners Kent Carper, Dave Hardy and Hoppy Shores approved only a few routine business items. Carper, president of the commission, led the meeting by telephone because he is on vacation. 

In Loving Memory of
June 23, 2011

Handler: Cpl. Eric Dukarski 
Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department
201 Habersham Street
Savannah, GA 31412
Phone: 912.651.6675
Fax: 912.651.6683
Former Metro K-9 Officer to be Euthanized
A K-9 officer that served the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department for seven years will be euthanized and cremated Thursday. Nick, a Belgian Malinois, joined the K-9 division in September of 2001 and was partnered with Cpl. Eric Dukarski. During his career, Nick participated in 131 suspect and rescue tracks, 244 building searches, 756 narcotic searches, 121 evidence searches and 487 arrests.  In seven of those arrests he physically apprehended the suspect, Metro Police said.

One of his most memorable missions involved a burglary in progress at a liquor store on Wheaton Street.  Responding officers had surrounded the business and had seen two suspects inside. 
Dukarski gave the K9 warnings and one suspect surrendered.  Nick was sent to find the second suspect.  The second suspect was found hiding in an industrial ice machine but refused to surrender.  Nick forced open the door and grabbed the suspect by the back of his hooded sweatshirt. 

He pulled the suspect out where he was arrested. "Nick was a great cop," said Ernst. "He helped us build this unit and he will be missed." Sgt. Gregory Ernst, commander of the unit, said arthritis and other ailments forced Nick to retire three years ago.  His condition has become so severe that the decision was made to put him to sleep. Nick's partner, Cpl. Dukarski, will keep his ashes after cremation. Nick was 12 years old.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

May 5, 2002 - March 23, 2011
Handler: Officer Humberto Morales, Jr.
New London Police Department
5 Governor Winthrop Boulevard
New London, CT 06320-6471
(860) 447-5282

K9 Niko and Officer Humberto Morales JR.
 were the recipients of the prestigious Danial Wasson Memorial K9 Award
in 2004 & 2003.
Here is an article from 2003
Police Dog Shot While Chasing Suspects
A police dog was shot early Thursday while chasing suspects in an armed robbery, police said. Niko, a 3-year-old German shepherd, had picked up the scent of suspects in an early morning bar robbery. Police said the dog ran into a nearby cemetery, where he was shot with a 9mm handgun.
"He actually went out and took a bullet, actually for one of us," said Officer Humberto Morales. "Because that could have been any one of us."
The bullet entered near one shoulder and exited near the other. Niko survived because it missed his heart and spine, veterinarians said. He was not wearing his bulletproof vest, Morales said, because it is not meant for use during pursuits. Even after he was shot, Niko kept trying to pin down the suspect, police said. Police arrested three suspects in the robbery, including the suspected shooter, 20-year-old Donald Brown Jr. Niko was expected to be released from the veterinarian's office late Thursday. One of three New London police dogs, he could be back to work in two weeks.
"It's just like he was given to me all over again," Morales said. "I thought I had lost him."
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
K9 Niko
May 4, 2011

Handler: Patrolman Joe Primiano 
Mentor Police Department
8500 Civic Center Boulevard
Mentor, OH 44060-2418
(440) 974-5760

Decorated Mentor police K-9 dies

Mentor Police Department is mourning the loss of one of its own. K-9 officer Niko died during the night between May 3 and May 4, according to city officials. The German shepherd was at the home of his handler, Patrolman Joe Primiano. The cause of death appeared to be gastric bloating, Police Chief Dan Llewellyn said. "At the end of the day he was fine and, in the morning, he was found deceased," Llewellyn said." This is a terrible tragedy and he was a vital part of our police department, and I'd like to acknowledge the commitment that Patrolman Primiano made to this K-9 program with his partner Niko."

The chief said the patrolman and his family are devastated. Officers were ordered to wear black mourning bands for three days, and support has flowed in from well-wishers at other departments and the public. Niko was 2 years old when he was acquired in 2007, using donations from residents. Community members came together to raise money for a new police dog after K-9 Bronco was hit by a car and killed in November 2006. More than $8,900 was raised and covered the cost of the dog and some of his equipment.

Niko was trained in areas including narcotics, apprehension, building and area search, article search, tracking and aggression. He received multiple awards from the German Shepherd Dog Club of America, including Rookie of the Year in 2008, the 2008 Hero Dog Award for Public Service, and he was recognized by the Club in 2009 for excellence in tracking. Niko also was part of the department's ACE Team, which monitors interstate traffic for drug activity, and was involved in an arrest in which 25 pounds of marijuana was confiscated.
In addition, he helped apprehend a suspect who was on the International Terrorist Watch List in 2008. Niko was the department's 11th K-9 officer and, as of a few months ago, the only one. The department's other K-9 was Deuce, handled by Officer Ron Gunton, who bought him after leaving the department on disability following an injury, Llewellyn said. Mentor has the longest-standing K-9 program in Lake County, the chief has said. "It is our goal to keep the program alive," he said. "We will be making decisions how to proceed in that in the near future." The program is supported by donations. Anyone wishing to donate may call the chief's office at 440-974-5760.   submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA