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
April 2011

Lt. Vince Wallis
Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office
Sheriff - Mike Linder 2550 3rd Avenue N.
Billings, Montana 59101 (406) 256-2929

Retired Yellowstone County Sheriff's drug dog dies

Retired Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office drug sniffing dog "Troop" died this week from surgery complications.
The dog was 12 years old. Born in Holland, Troop joined the Sheriff's Office in 1999 after graduated from
 K9 academy as the department's second drug dog. Working alongside his partner, Lt. Vince Wallis,
Troop was responsible for nearly $2 million in drug forfeitures and seizures during
his six years with the department. The dog was retired in September 2005.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
July 24, 1999 - Nov. 24, 2011

Handler: Kenny McShane
El Segundo Police Department
348 Main Street El Segundo,
CA 90245-3885
(310) 524-2390

It comes with great sadness to announce retired police canine "Tarkan" lost his battle with cancer today and was put to rest.
His former handler and partner for life, Officer Kenny McShane was by his side when Tarkan passed. Tarkan was born on
July 24, 1999 in Holland, where he earned a "Politiehond 1" certification in October 2002.
After being chosen for police service in the United States,
Tarkan traveled to Riverside, CA, and was selected by our organization as Officer.

On the day we met, Kenny McShane was carrying sleeping 3-month-old Molly, the youngest of his three children,
in one of those portable car seats. An El Segundo police officer who is married to a Manhattan Beach officer,
McShane is what you might rightly call a real dad. He is also plain-spoken, forthright and genuine, a regular
bird-hunting, down-home dog guy.
A Cal Poly San Louis Obispo grad, he grew up with working dogs, border collies mainly, a fantastic breed that can
cement the eternal man/dog bond.

Majoring in animal science, McShane went on to manage feed lots and a slaughterhouse before a friend brought
him into the small force where he was instantly and naturally drawn to the two-dog K-9 unit. Working as an
"agitator" in addition to his regular patrol duties, he would pull on the padded training suit and take the
crushing bites of the department's dogs.
"I knew instantly that this is what I wanted to do," said the man who would eventually join his life and
the life of his family to Tarkan, a magnificent, Dutch-trained Belgian Malinois.
This is a powerful, medium-size dog with a short mahogany coat slightly overlaid in Tarkan's case with black that
blended nicely with his long, black, erect ears and his powerful black muzzle.
Sometimes mistaken for the larger German shepherd, the breed is employed exclusively by the
U.S. Secret Service and the Navy SEALs, which used a Malinois named Cairo during the Bin Laden raid.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
December 31, 2011


Handler:  Officer Frank Cooney
Montville Police Department

360 Route 202
Montville, NJ  07045-8697


K-9 Thor Sniffed Out Drugs, Suspects

A German Shepherd with Montville Police Badge No. 81 died Saturday. He was 10 years old.

On a cold night in 2005, Montville police responded to Kevah Konner Bus Company in the Pine Brook section of the township
 on a report of a burglary. Thor, the department's K-9, traced the suspect's path and found a money envelope along the
 route. A fingerprint lifted from the envelope led to the suspect's arrest and linked him to several other burglaries in
Montville and surrounding towns. It was one of more than 100 busts Thor was involved with in his seven years working
 with the department, authorities said Wednesday as they remembered the German Shepherd who died Saturday.

Thor—assigned Badge No. 81—was having back problems and was put down after being diagnosed with lymphoma,
Montville Police   Capt. Edward Rosellini said. Thor was 10 years old. Officer Frank Cooney was Thor's
handler after being assigned the
 dog in September 2004. The K-9 was donated to the town by the Drug Awareness Council. Cooney's pet supply store,
 Metro Pet Supply, provided food for the dog. Cooney said Thor was one of the first dogs in New Jersey trained in
 passive indication, meaning he would sit when he smelled drugs instead of scratching at them to avoid property damage.

During traffic stops, Thor would walk around the outside of the car. If he smelled drugs, he would sit down. Police would
 then call for a roadside search warrant. This led to drugs and drug money being confiscated well over a hundred times,
Cooney said. Cooney said Thor will be missed. "He was a great partner, very reliable," he said. Among recent cases,
Montville police a year ago reported Thor smelled marijuana and cocaine during a Route 46 traffic stop that led
 to charges against the car's two occupants, according to the Neighbor News.

Montville reported in the Spring 2009 Montville Messenger,

K-9 Thor, our narcotics trained patrol dog and his handler Officer Frank Cooney continue to keep our streets safe.
In January and February alone they were requested numerous times to track suspects involved in burglaries.
Within these two months they had nine narcotics finds while on motor vehicle stops. This led to nine
arrests for possession of marijuana, heroin and paraphernalia.The team continues to frequent the halls of both
 Montville High School and Lazar Middle School for random locker and classroom searches. They always prove
 to be a positive asset to both this department and the community.

Thor graduated from patrol dog training on Jan. 27, 2005, at the Morris County Sheriff's Office training facility.
 The K-9 was trained in obedience, tracking,building searches, field searches, evidence recovery, patrol route
scouting, criminal apprehension and handler protection. A few months later he beg
an training for narcotics
 detection and graduated in August 2005. Thor, the first and only K-9 on the Montville police force,
 visited all of the schools and gave demos to students, Cooney said. Police officers said they expect to establish
a monument for Thor near police headquarters and that he also will be commemorated by the Sheriff's Office.
 Rosellini said police don't know if the department will bring another K-9 on board.
"Having that dog was a great asset," Rosellini said. 
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
December 16, 2011 

Handler: Officer Michelle Rafferty
Duluth Police Department
411 West 1st Street, #104A
Duluth, MN 55802

Former Duluth Police dog ‘Timber’ dies
Timber, a German shepherd and former member of the Duluth Police Department K-9 team,
had to be euthanized Dec. 16.
Timber, a former member of the Duluth Police K-9 team, was euthanized Dec. 16.

Duluth police Officer Michelle “Raff’’ Rafferty said she lost her best friend and partner this month. Timber,
 a German shepherd and former member of the police department K-9 team, had to be euthanized Dec. 16
because of abdominal bleeding as the result of cancer of the spleen. “It was the hardest decision I ever had to make
 in my life,” she said. “He was a fabulous, fabulous dog and he had overcome so much. I took him out in the community a lot.
 He’d meet with kids who had disabilities, blind kids, people diagnosed with cancer. Just feel-good stuff.
He was so social and never lost his desire to work.”
  Timber, who would have been 9 years old this week, had a short police
career — about 18 months — when he was medically retired because of failing eyesight, but Rafferty was able to gain
 custody of the animal. She took care of the dog as it became blind as the result of cataracts and Pannus, a progressive,
 inflammatory disease of the cornea. When a newspaper story was written about Timber needing eye surgery a few years
 ago, Duluth police were hoping to get $3,000 in donations to pay for it. The public donated almost $25,000 to the fund.
Rafferty said her dog’s blindness took him out of work, but never slowed him down in trying to do what he was trained
to do." He made up for not being able to see with his hearing or his nose,” she said. “He was amazing with his nose.
I’d take him out to a lake and throw a tennis ball from shore. He was completely blind, but he’d gladly jump into the
lake and work until he found the ball.” The officer has written an illustrated a book about Timber and said she made a
 promise to him the day he died to try to get it published. She said the book’s theme is overcoming adversity. “I did it
more as a therapeutic thing for myself than anything else,” she said. “I learned a lot more from Timber than he ever did from
me. I would have a long day at work or have something happen in my personal life that would seem like a big mountain to climb.
Then I’d look at him as blind as blind can be. He faced challenges, but he did it with ease and grace that humans
sometimes don’t pull off.” Rafferty has a soft spot for the less than perfect. Before she had Timber, she had a
three-legged dog and a deaf dog. She said she enjoys providing a hospice for animals. Sgt. Brad Wick, Duluth police
K-9 unit trainer, saw the special relationship Rafferty had with her dog. “They had such a great bond right off the bat,
 Wick said. “We actually got that dog into training late — two or three weeks after the class started, but they had such a
 great bond between the two of them that they made up for that. They really had a great connect." Duluth police once
had four K-9s, but were down to two and just added their third dog — a Belgian Malinois named Loki — who joins the
two German shepherds on the force. Wick said that overall, Belgian Malinois have a higher energy level than German shepherds.
Wick said Loki is the son of a U.S. Police Canine Association certification trials champion. Loki’s partner will be
Officer Matt Hendrickson, who is moving from patrol officer to K-9 officer. “He’s a phenomenal dog, to say the least,”
Wick said. “He’s kind of a handler’s dream. All he wants to do is play, please and get rewarded. He does so well
at all the games, and the games to him are finding people and finding evidence.” Wick said Loki will complete his training
 this month and be on the street the first of the year. He will also receive special training in February to detect narcotics.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
November 3, 2011

Handler: Deputy Kevin Hertweck
anderburgh County Sheriff’s Office

3500 North Harlan Avenue
Evansville , IN 47708
Telephone-812-421-6200 Fax-812-421-6384

A dog belonging to the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit is dead after being accidentally
 shot by its handler during an arrest Thursday night.  According to a Sheriff's Office new release, Deputy Kevin Hertweck
went to a home in the 3900 block of Old Henderson Road to a serve a warrant to revoke the probation of Raymond Hill, 39.
Vanderburgh County Sheriff
Eric Williams said while deputies were trying to serve the warrant,
 Hill released three pit bulls, which immediately attacked the dog, Trax, and Hertweck.
During the exchange, Hertweck drew his gun and fired a round in an attempt to save Trax from the pit bulls.
At the same time, Trax jumped and was struck by the round, killing him instantly, Williams said. 
Hertweck had been Trax’s handler since the dog joined the K-9 unit. 
“It’s a big deal to our office and our people,” said Williams. “That dog was incredibly important to us.”
Williams commented on the tragedy of the situation, saying “there’s a special bond that occurs
between the dog and its handler.”
“That was his partner, they worked together, they went home together,” Williams said.
Trax was buried Friday.

This is a developing story. Check back with for details as they become available.
Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA & Bobby Earl,

In Loving Memory of
October 30, 2011

Handler: Officer Todd Clark
Pleasant Hill Police Department
330 Civic Drive
Pleasant Hill CA  925 223-1998
925 288.4600


Announces the Death of Pleasant Hill Police K9 “Titan”

The Pleasant Hill Police Department sadly announces the death of its first canine, Titan, a German Shepherd.
Titan had partnered with Officer Todt Clark from March 2004 to the retirement of the canine in January 2011.
Titan had suffered health problems  in the history of the Officer Clark. Titan was deployed over 250 times
in attempts to make physical apprehensions of suspects.
Titan also amassed over 1200 hours of training during his career. Officer Clark and Titan were highly instrumental
in successful implementation  of the Pleasant Hill Police Department’s canine program. The outstanding tradition
 of effective policing with canine teams,
Officer Ron Priebe and Muzzy and Officer James Woehrman and Castor.

submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

September 15, 2011
Handler: Officer Ryan Fraker 
Redmond Police Department
777 SW Deschutes Ave.
Redmond,OR 97756

Redmond Police dog, "Tanya" dies
succumbs To Cancer After Three Years On The Force
She's been with the force for just three years but now, one of Redmond's toughest crime-fighters has lost the
 fight for her life.
 A 10-year-old Belgian Malinois, Tanya succumbed to cancer Thursday night. The drug-detection dog joined
the team back in 2008 with her partner, Officer Ryan Fraker. Together, the pair sniffed out all sorts of trouble
and developed a lasting bond, making the loss especially hard on him. "These guys, they ride in a car with their
 handler day in, day out, all night and day,"
 said Lt. Nathan Garibay. "Sometimes they're the only one they have conversation with in the wee hours of the morning,
they develop a closeness and they become part of them." Replacing Tanya is a new drug dog, another Belgian Malinois
 named Ike, who's in training with Officer Fraker right now. He joins two other dogs in the Redmond K-9 unit,
started in 2000.
There are two different types of police dogs, both relying on their sense of smell. Patrol canines track suspects,
find evidence and protect handlers, while drug-detection dogs alert on the presence of controlled substances.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
 Troll von der Schwarzen Nister
September 1, 2011

Handler: Officer Joe Henslee 
Elmore City Police Department
102 E E Street
 Elmore City, OK 73433

(580) 788-2816

Police cherish memory of passing comrade

Taking time to honor a recently passed comrade, Joe Henslee, former handler for Officer Troll of
the Elmore City Police Department,
took some time to talk about working with the police dog. As a member of the community,
Troll helped bring safety to the
community through lessons and curbing drug traffic in the area for around five years.

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Mourning the loss of any vital community member is a process which always
takes time and it can be true for  either man or beast. For the Elmore City Police Department, the impact made by
their K-9 officer, Troll, whose full name is  Troll von der Schwarzen Nister) will not be remembered for only what a
dog brought them, but contributions just as important as anyone carrying the badge, according to Officer Joe Henslee,
 his handler. After serving the town for five years, Troll, a German Shepherd, passed away unexpectedly a little
over a week ago and leaves a hard to match legacy. “He made many a drug bust in town,” said Henslee,
who has been in law enforcement since 1999, after retirement from the military in 1995.

“This dog is a needed asset... I think all towns need them.” The day Troll passed away was no more unusual than
average and he was home resting after being up until 3 a.m. before that, said Henslee. When Henslee went to
check on the dog he was very sluggish and later had to be rushed to the vet where it was discovered he had
his stomach twisted. He later passed away there.
The fact a town as small as Elmore City was able to utilize the services of a police dog is an impressive blessing
 because the expense of training and caring for a dog can often be several thousand dollars, said Henslee.

According to Lisa Rollings, the town clerk, the police department was able to take on the challenge through a
 donation from a company formerly known as Titan Tanks. When Henslee joined the department a couple of years
ago he took on the care of Troll and had to undergo training on how to work in the field with him. Troll was
originally trained with Officer Jeff Poteet before he left and helped Henslee get comfortable with what was
his first work dog experiences. Henslee cherished those moments, noting how forming a bond with the dog was
life changing because he both lived at his residence and went everywhere with him. He remembers the dog always
being ready to go for the job, never being overly aggressive and being patient until his cues to where
 drugs were located were noticed.

The city saw a noticeable improvement during Troll’s time, often finding people in possession drugs of who might
 not have otherwise been suspect. When the dog was not busy helping bring in criminals, he was often seen at
places from area schools where kids adored him to helping with other law enforcement duties in Garvin County.
 “He already knew the job, he trained me,” said Henslee, adding how impressed he was how Troll would intimidate
a criminal to stay still. “He taught me you can’t judge by the cover.” Troll was close to 10 years old when he
 passed and would have had a couple more years before he retired. In the end, the experience has been so positive
 for Henslee to the point where he would gladly take on the responsibility again if funding sources made it possible.
 “I never thought I would want a dog before,” said Henslee. “There will never be another one like him...
 he will be missed.”  
 Submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

Handler: Constable Tim Chalmers  
Timmins Police Service
185 Spruce Street South
Timmins, Ontario P4N 2M7
Telephone: (705) 264-1201 - FAX: (705) 360-2697

Trax, the Timmins Police Service dog, is put down. Dog suffered from unusual illness.
Canine unit suspended for time being.

The death of the Timmins police service dog Trax has forced the Timmins Police Service to suspend its Canine Unit.
The dog's death was due to an unusual sickness according to a news release issued by the police service Tuesday.
"In June of this year Trax was diagnosed with a condition, Canine Discoid Lupus, which attacks the nose and paws
of dogs," said the news release. "Local veterinary officials, as well as experts with the Ontario Veterinary College
 (University of Guelph), were consulted. Following those consultations and discussions with Constable Tim Chalmers,
Trax's handler, it was determined that Trax would no longer be physically capable of performing his duties and
would continue to suffer from his condition. The difficult decision to relieve Trax of his duties was made and
euthanisation was carried out." News of dog's condition was presented at a police service board meeting
on September 1, said the release.

The police service said even though Timmins is currently without a Canine Unit, it can call upon the services of the
 OPP in cases where a canine unit would be needed. Trax was first introduced to the Timmins Police Service in
January 2009 by Canine officer Tim Chalmers. Trax was a replacement for Reiko, also
a Czechoslovakian Shepherd,
 but it was discovered in 2008 the dog had canine lupus, a condition that prevented it from continuing
in police work. The release also said that Constable Chalmers has been reassigned to other duties within the
 service. His dedication and commitment to the Canine Unit over the preceding five years was lauded by
Chief John Gauthier and the Board. Over the coming months Timmins Police Administration will review the
 viability of re-establishing the canine unit, said the release.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA & Frank Brunetti, Dir. Dandy Co.

In Loving Memory of
August 23, 2011

 Police Sergeant Thushara
Sri Lanka
Anuradhapura Police Headquarters

Farewell to another veteran

Tina’ the veteran Police dog attached to the Anuradhapura Police kennels who had helped Police to detect the
largest amount of explosives during the humanitarian operation to free civilians from LTTE clutches died of a
sudden illness on Monday causing immense grief among its handlers and the Police rank and file and the public
 at large. Tina’s handler Police Sergeant Thushara said the animal fell ill on August 16 and it died at Navula,
 Matale while being taken to the Peradeniya University’s Veterinary Faculty for further diagnosis and treatment.
Tina’s remains were buried at the Anuradhapura Headquarters Police Station premises with full Police honours.
Among the prize detections made by Tina were two suicide kits a claymore mine, explosives and a remote
control device hidden in a van to Colombo at the Vavuniya checkpoint on September 22, 2006. Apart from this
, Tina had assisted security duties at public meetings attended by VVIPs and helped in the arrest of many criminals.
 Tina who belonged to the German Shepherd breed was a gift from India trained at the Asgiriya Police kennels.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
June 13, 2011

Handler: Const. Keith Copeland

Saint John Police Force

Police canine Thor was one of a kind
When Thor was in his prime as a police dog, he chased a criminal through Marsh Creek, and searched for
hours on end until he tracked a missing elderly man missing in dense bush. "He wasn't the big, vicious police
 dog people think of," said Const. Keith Copeland, who handled the German shepherd for the Saint John Police
 Force for six years, and took care of him in his four years of retirement. In fact, while Thor was an efficient
 tracker and had no trouble tackling a criminal, he was full of affection, following Copeland everywhere he went.
So, when the 13-year-old police dog died on June 13, it was heartbreaking for Copeland, who is
now a stolen auto investigator.

"You had to know him," Copeland said. "He wasn't like my other dogs. There was an understanding -
a bond between us." Thor, who retired in 2006 after going through back surgery, died of cancer. The dog,
born in the Czech Republic, joined the Saint John canine unit in 1999. Copeland always had an interest in
the canine unit and jumped at the opportunity to be Thor's handler. The duo trained diligently and sprang
to duty months later. They developed a bond that helped them track evidence and criminals. "When you
 train with a dog, you read the dog, so he does something and you understand what he's doing," Copeland said.
 "It's hard to describe."

When Copeland and Thor cruised the streets, Copeland would keep the gate open that separates the front and
 back seats of the police car. Thor would stand on the centre console and hang his big head over Copeland's
shoulders. "We'd pull up beside folks at a traffic light and all they could see was Thor's massive head,"
Copeland wrote on an online memorial site for the dog. "It never failed to elicit a response." When Copeland
 turned on the car sirens, the dog would get excited and start barking over the sounding alarm. Of countless
adventures, the "Marsh Creek epic" was among the most memorable, Copeland said.

In August of 2006, police pulled over a driver on Rothesay Avenue for a traffic violation. When the driver realized
 he was wanted on a warrant, he fled on foot across the CN railway yard. Police fanned out in the area
but called in the canine unit for help. Copeland followed Thor as he tracked the man's scent toward Marsh Creek,
smelly from effluent in the hot sun. The dog wanted to cross the creek and Copeland hesitated, but eventually
followed, wading chest-deep in the dank water. Thor tugged Copeland through dense swamp and tall grass.

"When Thor began blowing through his nose and jumping up in the air, I knew the suspect was nearby,"
Copeland said. "There was no mistaking Thor's intensity, so I called out to the suspect to give himself up or
the police dog would be released. Thor added his voice to mine for punctuation." They arrested the man,
 who had been on a crack and alcohol bender, but Copeland's cell phone and radio were ruined by the swamp water.
 The trio walked for half an hour toward the sounds of the highway, eventually calling the fire
department to pull them up by ladder.

Earlier that same summer, Thor also rescued an elderly man suffering from Alzheimer's who had been missing
 for almost 20 hours in the woods behind Lakewood Heights. The dog had just undergone back surgery,
 but came back to work to help. Hours passed, and Copeland worried Thor's back pain had returned but
 trusted the dog as he sniffed along. "Thor disappeared down a low rise in front of me and I saw a man
 laying down directly in front of us less than 200 feet away," Copeland wrote. "Thor's head popped up between
 us as he continued along his unerring path, no other change observable, just steadily closing the distance
 while I scrambled along madly behind him."

The man was disoriented, but safe. When Thor retired, it meant Copeland had to switch jobs too, because the
 canine unit was being downsized from four dogs to two. Copeland - who owns three other dogs - enjoys his
current job, but says working with Thor was the pinnacle of his career. "The rest is just window dressing,"
he said. In 2003, Thor entered the Royce Isenor Memorial Field Trials, which were held in Saint John.
 Thor, who was not used to competitions, swept most categories, scoring as top dog overall. Thor's big
 trophy is now his final resting place. His ashes are inside the wooden base and his medals and
 ribbons hang from the brass cup.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

  1. Handler: Officer Quinn J. Witherspoon
    Concord, NC Police Department
    Concord, NC

The Tribute: This day I stand with tears in my eyes, presenting a salute as I say my goodbyes. Fond memories of you
 so gallantly appear,  in all that you gave, you showed no fear. I was your partner in whom you placed your trust,
 your devotion to man  was always loyal and just.

The badge of honor you wore upon your breast, you most deserved, in giving your best. Your service to justice,
 through peril and strife,
you gave unselfishly to protect human life. Laid upon your casket are the stars and stripes; I hear in the distance
 the sound of bagpipes.
Twenty-one guns are raised to the sky, as I say this day, my final goodbyes. One day I pray we will meet again,
 and that Heaven holds a place for these special dogs and men.
Michael D. Johnson

In Loving Memory of
May 6, 2011

Handler: Officer Ken Ballinger 
Plymouth County Sheriff's Department
24 Long Pond Rd.
Plymouth, MA 02360
Memorial ceremony held for two police dogs
Officer Kenny Murphy of the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office, left, takes a last look at police dog Taku,
Lt. Barney Murphy folds the American flag that will be brought home in remembrance, and a fellow canine officer weeps.
Canine police officers from all over, congregated at the Angel View Pet Cemetery in Middleboro on Friday
to give Taku a final farewell.
Canine police officers from across Massachusetts said goodbye this week to one of their own. An informal send-off
 ceremony  was held Friday at Angel View Pet Cemetery in Middleboro for Taku, an 11-year-old
Hollandse herder
 who served as a  police dog for the Plymouth County Sheriff's Department. Officer Ken Ballinger,
 Taku's handler of 10 years, said the dog was euthanized Friday after having fought several bouts
of cancer as well as struggles with old age.

Despite his ailments, Taku worked almost until the very end. Ballinger said the dog accompanied him Monday
 to a report of a barricaded gunman in Attleboro. On Friday, canine officers from several law enforcement
agencies joined Ballinger at Angel View, where Taku's remains were interred. The officers provided an honor guard
 and formed a receiving line. "It sort of mimicked a human wake," said Ballinger, whose next dog is currently
undergoing training. 
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA - K9 handler Bobby Earl, MA

In Loving Memory of
K9 THEO and
Handler: Lance Corporal Liam Tasker
Camp Bastion, Afghanistan
March 1, 2011

Lance Corporal Liam Tasker trains with his Military Working Dog, Theo, in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.
Lance Corporal Liam Tasker and his dog Theo.

The Canine Honour Guard: Dogs turn out in sympathy at army handler's funeral  3/10/11
Police and Prison Service dogs with their handlers who salute as the cortege for Lance Corporal Liam Tasker approaches

Police and Prison Service dogs with their handlers who salute as the cortege for Lance Corporal Liam Tasker approaches
L/Cpl Tasker's mother Jane Duffy is comforted by family as the hearse carrying the body of her son
 passes through Wootton Bassett.

Laura Tasker (right), the sister of Lance Corporal Liam Tasker comforts his fiancee Leah Walters during the repatriation ceremony in Wootton Bassett today Police dogs and their handlers await the cortege for Lance Corporal Liam Tasker

Lance Corporal Tasker's sister Laura (right) comforts his fiancee Leah Walters during the repatriation
 ceremony in Wootton Bassett which drew many police dogs and their handlers.
Many mourners were accompanied by their dogs to pay their special respects to army handler Lance Corporal Tasker who died with his Springer spaniel in Afghanistan on March 1
Many mourners were accompanied by their dogs to pay their special respects to
 army handler Lance Corporal Tasker,  who died with his Springer spaniel in Afghanistan on March 1

Mourners throw red, yellow and white roses onto the roof of the hearse carrying Lance Corporal Tasker's coffin

Mourners throw roses onto the roof of the hearse carrying Lance Corporal Tasker's coffin 
The sound of a dogs echoed out in a fitting tribute today as they lined the funeral route for the solemn procession of
 Lance Corporal Liam Tasker through Wootton Bassett. L/Cpl Tasker's mother Jane Duffy, 51, hugged sister Nicola, 13,
and the soldier's fiancee Leah Walters, 33, and wept audibly as the cortege came to a standstill at 4.25pm.
Mourners threw red, yellow and white roses onto the roof of the hearse which contained the coffin draped in a
Union Jack. And many, from across the country, took along their dogs to pay their special respects
 to the army handler who was shot on March 1 and whose search dog Theo also died.

The body of 26-year-old L/Cpl Tasker, from Kirkcaldy, Fife, and the ashes of his Springer spaniel had
 been returned to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire on the same flight from Afghanistan. The dog handler,
 from the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, was shot while he was on patrol in Helmand province.
 Theo died of a seizure shortly afterwards. Although Theo's ashes were not included in the cortege,
 a dozen dog handlers from police and prison forces around the country were among the crowds who lined the streets.
Pc Gareth Wilkinson, from Cheshire Police, was accompanied in Wootton Bassett by his sniffer spaniel
Lottie and said: 'Under the circumstances a group of dog handlers wanted to come down and pay our respects.
 'You get attached to the dogs so it's a doubly sad occasion not just for the family but for the loss
 of the animal as well.' Local resident Mike Brewser, 53, who regularly attends repatriations,
had his black retriever Saffron with him. 'I wouldn't usually bring Saffron but I heard that here would
 be quite a few dogs here today,' he said. 'It's a story that touches people and it seems a nice gesture and
 a mark of respect to bring dogs along.' Theo's ashes are to be presented to L/Cpl Tasker's family at a later date.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA