Memorials to Fallen K-9s
The F.A.S.T. Co. donates sets of memorial cards to all partners 
 I need your help to inform me of such losses.

Dept. addresses available for those who want to send condolences to officers. See below

In Loving Memory of
December 5, 2013


Handler: Officer Scott Stafford
Ball State University Police Department
200 N McKinley Ave
Muncie, Indiana

Tara was far more than a terrific police K-9 for the Ball State University Police Department. She was also
handler Scott Stafford’s best friend and a member of his family. So consider those factors together, and you
can see why her loss has been so hard for those in the local law enforcement community. Tara, 10, a Belgian Malinois,
 died Dec. 5 after she was struck by a vehicle while off-duty near Stafford’s home. “She was a very, very
 loving dog,” Stafford, a Ball State police corporal, said. “She stayed in the house with me, my wife and
 my 4-year-old son. They played all the time.”

Tara — a five-year Ball State police veteran — won’t be buried without proper recognition, however. A full-service
memorial for the K-9 is set for 1 p.m. Jan. 10 at Elm Ridge Funeral Home and Memorial Park. The public
 is welcome to attend, Ball State police Chief Gene Burton said. “In many respects, it’s the same feelings you
have when you lose a fellow officer,” Burton said. “She’s missed like any other officer that would be lost.”
 Stafford said it was in 2008 when he was tasked with picking out his K-9 partner for the department. It didn’t
 take long to make his choice, however. “I knew from the beginning that, yeah, she’s the dog that I want,” he recalled.

Tara, Stafford said, was known for her “lean” — that is, she was more than happy to lean against the
leg of anybody willing to pet her. That gregarious attitude, Burton said, made Tara very popular during presentations
 at area schools, from the elementary to the collegiate level. “She was very personable and loved people,” Burton
 said. “She was very social and could interact in any situation.” Tara also had a clear passion for her duties
as a narcotic detection and search dog, Stafford and Burton agreed.

“When it came time to do her job, she was a very good dog and did the police work as well as any dog
 that I’ve seen,” said Burton, who has been with the department since 1980. Burton commended Stafford for
 his work training Tara into the police K-9 that she became. “Scott is a very good handler,” the chief said.
 “He’s very conscientious of the dog and its health and the university. He fits the role very well. They
worked well together, and their personalities just meshed. It’ll be sorely missed.”

Replacing Tara, the officers contended, will be impossible; nevertheless, the department will be looking
into purchasing a new K-9 in the coming weeks and months. Burton said those interested in helping BSUPD
raise funds for its new dog can do so by calling the Ball State University Foundation, (765) 285-8312,
 and asking to give to the Ball State police K-9 fund.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA


Ball State K-9 Tara 'the perfect companion for law enforcement'
Memorial service honors Tara, 10, who died Dec. 5 near her home

Dan Sinkhorn will never forget the first time he had the pleasure of meeting Tara, a K-9 with the Ball State University Police Department. Sinkhorn, the pastor at Corinth United Methodist Church in Muncie, was at a Sunday evening function when he asked Tara’s handler, Cpl. Scott Stafford, to bring her in for a visit. The next thing Sinkhorn knew, he was on the ground. “I reached out to pet her, and of course the first thing she did was body slam me and drop me to the floor, so that I could get the best purchase for petting,” Sinkhorn said. “The whole idea was that she wanted me to pet her whole body, and she wouldn't settle for a little pat on the head.”

Tara, 10, a Belgian Malinois, was honored Friday afternoon in a full-service police memorial service at Elm Ridge Funeral Home and Memorial Park. She died Dec. 5 after she was struck by a vehicle while off-duty near Stafford’s home. Tara was remembered Friday as a dog who knew when to play — and when to go to work. Sinkhorn recalled riding along with Stafford and Tara during a shift and seeing her attitude change from a tail-wagging, happy dog in the back seat to as stern and focused as can be as she listened to dispatchers send them to their next call.

“Tara was more aware of her team's rhythms and routines than maybe (the officers) were,” Sinkhorn recalled to those in attendance at Friday’s service. “It seemed that if I wanted to know what was going to happen next, all I needed to do was look at Tara.” Stafford told The Star Press Tara was a “very, very loving dog” that stayed in the house with him and his family — a luxury that not all police K-9 handlers can enjoy. “They played all the time,” Stafford said of Tara and his 4-year-old son. Stafford selected Tara as his K-9 partner in 2009, and said that he “knew from the beginning that, yeah, she’s the dog I want.”

Ball State police Chief Gene Burton said Tara was a fixture around the office, as well as around the community. A narcotic detection and search dog, Tara was also popular during presentations at area schools, from the elementary to the collegiate level. "When it came time to do her job, she was a very good dog and did the police work as well as any dog that I've seen," said Burton, who has been with the department since 1980. Sinkhorn said Tara — whom he considered “the perfect companion for law enforcement” — comes across his mind daily in the form of a special police coin he was given during his ridealong with Stafford.

“I carry this coin with me every day, everywhere I go,” Sinkhorn said. “It reminds me every day when I put it in my pocket to pray for police officers, to pray for their families, to pray for all those who work behind the scenes in police departments everywhere to make sure that our communities are safe, to make sure that crime is kept at bay. “It just reminds me of a special connection that I feel to one particular police officer and his co-workers, and I felt that connection with Tara.”


In Loving Memory of
August 30, 2013

Deputy Matt May
Athens County Sheriff's Office
Athens, Ohio

The Athens County Sheriff's Office said goodbye to a three-year veteran of the department on Thursday.
Turner, of the K9 unit with the sheriff's office, was put to sleep Thursday morning due to health issues, police said.
 Turner was the canine unit assigned to work with Deputy Matt May for the past three and a half years of
the dog's four years of life.
Sheriff Pat Kelly with the Athens County Sheriff's Office said the dog had been assigned to May for about
 three and a half years and was his dog. Kelly said the dog had been experiencing health issues for the past
e months involving an intestine that had turned in his stomach.   

(The veterinarian) thought he was OK but it started again," Kelly said. "He had been in a lot of pain.
"The animal was a Malinois, or Belgian Shepherd dog, Kelly said.  Kelly had posted on the Athens County
Sheriff's Office Facebook page a final farewell to the police dog.  "Thanks for your service, Turner," Kelly said.
Photo courtesy of the Athens County Sheriff’s Office  -   and help from Frank  Brunett to put on line.

From staff reports , Parkersburg News and Sentinel
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

Texas Deputy’s Police Dog Dies In Hot Patrol Car


HOUSTON (August 23, 2013)--The Harris County Sheriff's Office was investigating Friday after a K-9 unit dog that was left in a deputy’s patrol car died of heat exhaustion.  Sheriff's spokesman Alan Bernstein said the deputy was placed on administrative leave until the internal affairs investigation is finished.  The dog died Aug. 14 after the deputy arrived home, became distracted and left the dog in the car, Bernstein said.  The deputy is a 20-year veteran of the sheriff's office and has been with the K-9 unit for 12 years, he said.  Bernstein says sheriff's officials are considering options for preventing similar incidents involving the K-9 unit’s dogs.

In Loving Memory of

August 13, 2013

Handler: Officer Robert Miller
Bennettsville Police Department
501 East Main Street
Bennettsville, South Carolina 29512

After Labrador retriever Tank's heat stroke death, cop can't work with dogs

The Bennetsville Police Department in South Carolina laid to rest Tank, a K-9 Labrador retriever who died
when handler Robert Miller left him in a hot car.

Tank, a K-9 Labrador retriever, was laid to rest and his handler was banned from ever working with police dogs again.


Tank, a black Labrador retriever, died from heat stroke after cop Robert Miller left him inside his car with the engine off and the windows up Aug. 12. When he returned to the vehicle, he found his partner serious ill. Although Miller rushed him to a veterinarian, four-year-old Tank died the following morning. A police officer has been banned from ever working with dogs again after his K-9 died when he was left in a hot car in South Carolina. The Bennettsville Police Department conducted an internal investigation following the incident, and Miller was put on administrative leave. He will not face charges after the probe found no grounds for criminal intent, but Miller will not be able to work with K-9s again, Chief Larry McNeil said. "Tank's partner is devastated at the loss of Tank,” the chief said". That dog wasn't just the property of the City of Bennettsville Police Department, it was a part of the officer's family. He stayed with them 365 days a year. The dog went on vacations with him and his family. "McNeil added that the incident has affected the whole department. Tank, who had worked with the police for three years, was buried Wednesday morning on the department's training grounds.

M O R E >>>>>

Bennettsville K9 "Tank" dies, police officer suspended pending investigation

A Bennettsville Police dog died early Tuesday morning and an officer has been suspended in the matter. According to
 Police Chief Larry McNeil, the police K9 "Tank" died and the officer in charge of its care was suspended pending
 an investigation into what caused the animal to die. No other details about the incident were released. According to the
 City of Bennettsville's website, the K9 unit consists of two officers with their K-9 partners. K-9 Max is a
 European long hair German Shepherd specializing in detection and tracking. K-9 Tank specializes in explosive
detection and tracking. This unit has the responsibility of not only providing these specialized services for the
 City of Bennettsville but also for the Marlboro County School System. Both K-9 officer and partners visit the
 schools on a weekly basis.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA
M O R E >>>>>>>>>

K-9 “Tank” dies after being left in hot car, police officer suspended

 Bennettsville police officer is on administrative leave after his K-9 partner died, according to Chief Larry McNeil. McNeil says the officer left Tank, a black Labrador Retriever, in a car with the engine not running and the windows rolled up, Monday. The officer returned to the vehicle and saw Tank was not doing well, so he took the dog to a veterinarian. Tank died Tuesday morning. The officer's name isn't being released, but McNeil says he's a veteran K-9 handler and will be disciplined pending the outcome of the investigation. He says the officer is devastated by Tank's death. "Tank's partner is devastated at the loss of Tank. That dog just wasn't the property of the City of Bennettsville Police Department, it was a part of the officer's family. He stayed with them 365 days a year.

The dog went on vacations with him and his family," said Chief Larry McNeil. McNeil says Tank's death has hurt the entire police department. A veterinarian is expected to determine Tank's cause of death and how long the dog was inside the officer's car. The Humane Society of Marlboro County issued a statement to WPDE NewsChannel 15 on the death of the K-9 Officer. "It's been brought to the attention of the Marlboro County Humane Society. Very tragic loss. And until the investigation is complete and we have all the details, we can't take a position," said Kenny Hinson with the Humane Society of Marlboro County. Tank was four years old and had worked with Bennettsville police for three years.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
July 5, 2013

1ST Handler: Officer Steve Clopp
2ND Handler: Officer James Tolbert  
Monroe Police Department
818 W. Main St.
Monroe, WA 98272
Well-known K9 dog “Taylor” dies

Taylor, a yellow lab who served nine years with the Monroe Police Department before retiring last year, has died.

One of Monroe’s most successful anti-drug police force members has died. Ryco’s Taylor Made, known as “Taylor,”
a yellow lab who came to work at the Monroe Police Department as a drug-searching dog in 2003, died at the
home of her former handler on July 5. Taylor was one of two drug dogs that the department got in 2003.
 “They were the first drug dogs for the city,” said Monroe Police Department Spokesperson Deb Willis.
Taylor’s first handler was Steve Clopp, and the two immediately started racking up big successes.

“In the first December after we got her, she was called to Fred Meyer to help immigration with a vehicle that
 got detained and she found a large case with 200 pounds of marijuana,” said Willis. In 2005, she helped police
 find 149 kilos of cocaine in a vehicle that got pulled over on Main Street. And in October of 2005, she sniffed
out $700,000 in cash in a sophisticated compartment in a car. But Taylor had other jobs on the police force, a
s well. She was good at doing demonstrations at public events like National Night Out. “She went to schools,
 did demos, went anywhere we could put a dog and give the familiarity with the K9 program,” said Willis.

Officer James Tolbert took over as Taylor’s handler in 2007, and the dog worked for the next five years
 before retiring in April of 2012 to the home of her handler, which is customary. The dog was a
ubiquitous sight around the police station,
Willis remembered. One of the things that makes a good drug-seeking dog is the ability to be motivated by a toy,
which is used as a reward in training, and for her entire life Taylor was extremely fond of playing catch with small
 stuffed animals. “You’d find stuffed animals all around,” said Willis. “She loved them. We’d toss it and she’d go
 bring it back and that’s all she wanted to do.” Upon learning that the dog, 12, had died, the Monroe Police
 Department  sent cards of condolences to both of Taylor’s previous handlers. Taylor was cremated and laid to rest.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

April 4, 2013
Handler: Deputy Dave Williams
Delaware County Sheriff's Office
100 W. Washington St.
Muncie, Indiana 47305

Long time Indiana police K9 will be 'terribly missed.'

"Torro will forever be remembered for his service — not only for Delaware County's protection, but also for the service that he gave the nation working for the United States military. Torro is with the angels now." With these words read over the emergency dispatch airwaves from Delaware County Sheriff Michael Scroggins, Torro's time as a police K-9 with the sheriff's office officially came to an end Wednesday afternoon. Torro, 7, a Belgium Malinois from Holland, died Wednesday after doctors discovered a large tumor growing behind one of his eyes. Instead of taking the chance of prolonging the dog's suffering for just a couple of more days of companionship, Deputy Dave Williams — Torro's partner since the summer of 2010, when the K-9 joined the sheriff's office — made the difficult decision to put his comrade to sleep, draped in a U.S. flag.

Torro was cremated and laid to rest after receiving a special police escort to his final resting place in Anderson later the same day. Torro spent the first few years of his life in the United States military, where he served several tours overseas in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq. According to Deputy Lenny Popp, a certified K-9 trainer with the Delaware County Sheriff's Office, military K-9s are trained to be very protective of their handlers. Williams said Thursday he'll always remember Torro — his first-ever K-9 partner — for the way he was able to change from that once-protective companion into a sociable and playful dog with other officers, which is better suited for police work.

"After working with him and bonding with him, he pretty much did a night-and-day turnaround," Williams said. "He was a sociable dog and allowed people to pet him and everything. That was a huge thing for me, being able to bond with him like that and turn him around. He was the kind of dog I always wanted." Popp said Torro was a reflection of his partner. "If you know Dave, he's goofy, so he worked out perfectly because Torro was definitely goofy," Popp said. "A goofy dog just as much as the handler — so a great combination."

Torro — a bomb detection dog who typically worked afternoons with the sheriff's office — was perhaps best known around the office for his big red Kong ball. Williams said Torro would tear up simple tennis balls in mere minutes, so once the dog met his match with the virtually-indestructible Kong ball, he made sure to include the rest of the staff in his special game. "These Kongs are pretty heavy, and he'd actually spit it at you, hit you with it, and want you to throw it," Popp recalled. "He was always running around with that ball, throwing it at everybody, wanting everybody to play with him and pet him."

But those games ended the minute Williams put the leash on Torro. "He definitely knew when the leash went on he was all business and he was ready to work," Williams said. "With me, this being my first dog and the first time handling with him, he definitely kind of spoiled me because he did a lot of the work without me coaching him along." Scroggins credited Williams — a father of three young children — for making a tough decision Wednesday after the doctor's grim diagnosis for his K-9 partner. The sheriff said many people don't quite understand how close a K-9 officer typically gets with their dog.

"(The dogs are) members of their family, but when they get ready to go to work, that K-9 goes to work on duty, also," Scroggins said. "They're with them eight-plus hours a day, and they're together in the car, and they're working together, they break together." Scroggins said Williams stood by Torro's side until the very end Wednesday. "It's a thing that really, really hit me, watching Dave right there with Torro, and he was down petting him and talking him, just like he would when they were working and getting him fired up to train or do a search," Scroggins recalled. "The partnership was there until Torro's last breath." Police K-9s, Scroggins said, are an integral part of police departments worldwide, which is why Torro's death Wednesday was especially hard on everybody involved. "It was dealt with honor, care and love," Scroggins said. "He'll be terrible missed — he was a warrior."
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA - on line L. Krause... former Hoosier...

In Loving Memory of

March 15, 2013
Handler: Deputy Ronnie Russell  
Polk County Sheriff's Department
40 Ward Street
Columbus, North Carolina 28722
Tearful Memorial For Polk Police Dog
The Polk County community gathered at Stearns Park in Columbus to pay respects to a special crime fighter.
A procession including local law enforcement vehicles led to the memorial service for police dog, Trixie.
The dog died suddenly of cancer earlier this month.
 "I know to many people around, she may have been just a dog." said Chaplain Chris Osborn",
but to the Polk County Sheriff's Department, she was one of our deputies.
"Deputy Ronnie Russell hopes the ceremony gives him closure after an emotional loss
 that left him crying in his vehicle for an hour and a half. After the ceremony,
there was a long line of people  to wish Russell well and condolences.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA