The dog park at Purple Heart Park
in the Rita Ranch neighborhood is
now named Ivan's Spot. It's a permanent thank you to
Ivan, a police dog who was killed on
duty, his partner Officer Chris
Fenoglio and family. Ivan will be greeting dogs at the
gate with his name, face and story. Officer Chris Fenoglio lost Ivan
while pursuing a carjacking suspect
in December. "He saved my backside that
night," said Officer Fenoglio
in an April interview with News 4
Tucson. Ivan charged the suspect and bit
his arm. The suspect then shot Ivan in the
shoulder. "It touched us all. Everyone was
affected by it throughout the entire
department," said Sgt. Brad Pelton
with Tucson police. The Tucson Police Officer's
Association and the community
decided to memorialize Ivan by
renaming the dog park at Purple
Heart Park in his honor. "It's very rare that we lose a
dog in the line of duty. We've only
had three ever in the history of our
department, so it's just not
something that happens often, and
it's not often that you get the
chance to set up a tribute and pay
that kind of loss back," said Paul
Sheldon, with the Tucson Police
Officer's Association. Sgt. Pelton said these canines
aren't just partners but family. "The bond is indescribable just
like anybody else who has a pet. We
get that normal bond, but we're with
them so much. I see him more than I
probably see the rest of my family,"
said Sgt. Pelton. And now everyone will see that. "They really are a part of our
community," said Sgt. Pelton. Ivan's bravery and devotion will
now be on display for everyone to
see in the
Rita Ranch Neighborhood. submitted by Jim Cortina, and Frank Brunetti
The 11-year-old shepherd passed away on Dec. 18 after suffering from many health conditions, according
to his owner and partner Officer John Doskocz. Iozo was born in Budapest, Hungary on July 6, 2002 with
the birth name of Kolozsvar-Mellecki-Jazzy-Iozo. He was brought to the United States in 2004
when he began his training to be part of the Cheektowaga Police Department.
After extensive training, following New York State guidelines, Iozo became specialized in narcotics detection
and patrol functions that included criminal apprehension, building search, open area search, crowd control
and tracking capabilities. He was certified by the NYS Bureau of Municipal Police, Eastern Police Canine Association,
North American Police Work Dog Association, and the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association.
Doskocz said that at one point, Iozo held more independent canine certifications than any canine team in
the Western New York Region. He even assisted other local and federal agencies with hundreds of
narcotics and criminal search operations. After years of sniffing out narcotics, dealer money and helping put
the criminals behind bars, Doskocz decided it was time for Iozo to retire. While he was a police dog at work,
he was still a pet at home and Doskocz wanted what was best for his pet. Iozo retired in 2012.
“It was time to retire him,” said Doskocz. “Being eight or 9 years old is the time to start retiring a dog.
I wanted to retire him relatively young so he could enjoy his retirement.” Shortly before Iozo’s retirement,
Doskocz began training with Wazi, who would work to take Iozo’s place in the field. Iozo and Wazi
quickly became friends.
Off patrol, Iozo had become part of Doskocz’s family through the years. “He was more than just a dog.
He was my partner. He was my friend. He was like a child,” said Doskocz.
Doskocz added that while retirement was a great time for Iozo to enjoy his family and home, health problems
began to take a toll and he could tell his dog missed being in the field. “Iozo started seeing he was no
longer going to work. It definitely took a toll on him,” he said. “He was always the type of dog that was
always excited when I put my uniform on. He would want to jump in the truck.” Even down to his last
few weeks before his passing, Iozo would still get excited to go for rides in Doskocz’s truck, even when
that ride was to take him for a veterinary appointment, which there were many. Iozo’s vet said his
health issues could’ve been from a number of things but that they weren’t from his time training or
serving on the police force. Doskocz said that, while Iozo was a police dog and was trained to work,
he was a great pet, a friendly dog and a great companion. “Iozo was a ham and a half,” he said.
“He could go into a crowd of kids with them pulling his tail and pulling on his ears but there
wasn’t a mean bone in his body.” Iozo is already greatly missed by his family and the department.
Doskocz said a memorial service might be planned for after the holidays. submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA