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 29, 2014

Handler: Officer Alex Molnar

Gloucester County Sheriff's Office

2 South Broad Street
PO Box 337
Woodbury, NJ 08096


website -


Gloucester County Sheriff's Office mourning loss of K-9 officer

Gloucester County Sheriff's Office K-9 Roxie had to be put down Monday after suffering from an illness.

The Gloucester County Sheriff's Office is in mourning after a K-9 officer had to be put down this week, the county announced Wednesday. K-9 Roxie, a narcotics detection Labrador retriever who was rescued from a local shelter, graduated from the Atlantic County Scent Academy in the fall of 2012. "Our department is deeply saddened by the loss of Roxie," Sheriff Carmel Morina said. "She will be forever in or hearts." The 58-pound canine worked for the past two years detecting drug odors for the county, as well as more than a dozen local police departments with her handler Alex Molnar.

She was trained to detect marijuana, hashish, crack cocaine, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and ecstasy, as well as drug odor on U.S. currency, according to a spokeswoman for Gloucester County. "In the uncontrolled 'real world' environment, K-9 Roxie was proven to be 97.73 percent reliable and consistent in the detection of narcotic odor. That is to be commended," Morina said. Roxie suffered a medical emergency on Saturday and her condition continued to deteriorate for two days before her handler had to made the decision to have her put down." Roxie was four years and four months old at the time of her passing. 
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

December 13, 2014

Handler: ?
Riverview Center
222 Main Street
Middletown, CT 06457
Retired Middletown police K-9 dies
The Middletown Police Department said "goodbye" to one of its own this week.  Retired K9 passed away on Saturday.
During her tenure, K9 Rika assisted in multimple illegal drug seizures.  "Rika was a sweet girl that was always
ready to work.  We should all love our jobs as much as she did" poice said.  But she enjoyed raiding the animal
control office for treats.  "We will all miss her, but she will never be forgotten." 
"Rest Peacefully, Rika."

Facebook, Middletown PD wrote,
MPD lost one of our own this week. Our retired Narcotics K-9, “Rika”, passed away on Saturday. “Rika” was a sweet
 girl that was always ready to work. We should all love our jobs as much as she did. According to her partner,
 “Rika’s” favorite phrase was “wanna go to work?”. She helped find illegal drugs in numerous incidents and she
had fun doing so. “Rika” was always quick to raid the Animal Control office for treats and toys
(she knew where the good stuff was). We will all miss her but she will never be forgotten.
Rest Peacefully “Rika”.”
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

November 6, 2014
Handler: Officer Mary MacQueen
Salamanca Police Department
1 Barrett Drive
Salamanca, NY 14779
Salamanca Mourns K-9
A special memorial service was held in Salamanca Saturday
 for a local police K-9 known for faithfully serving his community.
 Robin was also a show dog.
In 2009, Robin was responsible for getting half a million dollars worth of dangerous narcotics off the streets. 
Memorial held for Robin at the Salamanca Fire Department on Saturday November 29.
K9 Robin had passed away on 11/6/14.

A special memorial service was held in Salamanca Saturday for a local police K-9 known for faithfully serving his community. Robin, a golden retriever, died earlier this month at the age of 12. The cause of death is still unknown but the dog had recently overcome a battle with cancer. That's when he really captured the heart of the community. He worked for both the Cattauragus County Sheriff's Office and the Salamanca Police Department. The memorial for Robin was held at the Salamanca Fire Department. Those who attended shared stories and celebrated the life he had.


When Robin wasn't helping out the police force he attended community events, made appearances at schools and libraries, and performed therapy work. Robin was also a show dog and performed around the country. Robin was the first Golden Retriever in history to win the American Kennel Club Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) in Law Enforcement [2009]. This is an incredible feat.  Robin also is the recipient of the 2010 Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) Gold Standard Award.


This award is presented to honor a Golden who performs honorable, heroic acts or who enriches, inspires or contributes to the lives of individuals and communities. Golden Retriever Robin (Am-Can Ch. Nitro’s Boy Wonder SDHF BISS TDI CGC, Police K-9/Search and Rescue Dog) and Mary MacQueen have worked for the Salamanca Police Department, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office, and assist with searches for the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force in Western New York State. In 2009 alone, Robin had been responsible for getting about half a million dollars worth of dangerous narcotics off the streets.


With drive, self-confidence, intelligence, and a willingness to please, Robin had proven to be an exceptional working K-9. He started his scent detection work at a mere seven weeks of age, and has built a strong foundation and true passion for search and detection work. While still in the Imprinting Window, Mary exposed Robin to the distinctive odor of decaying human remains, a critical component for dogs that who do this type of search work. Although pups do not yet have the skill to search in earnest for scent, they are drawn to the smell of decay.


Robin and Mary’s work with the Cattaraugus County, NY Sheriff’s Office included jail & vehicle searches, school searches, and searches during community festivals. Robin, the second narcotics certified K-9 in Cattaraugus County, is their first to be allowed to search people/students due to his easy going temperament and passive “sit” alert when he locates drugs. Mary MacQueen and Robin also assist with searches for the Southern Tier Regional Drug task force and Kinzua Search Dogs, a non-profit, all volunteer group that endeavors to locate missing persons.


Based in southwestern New York, Kinzua Search Dogs conducts searches in New York State as well as Pennsylvania. Robin and Mary were recipients of the 2008 Police Officer of the Year award for the Salamanca Police Department. In addition to his work in law enforcement, Robin was also a therapy dog, AKC Canine Good Citizen, AKC Champion of Record, and the recipient of the Golden Retriever Club of America’s Show Dog Hall of Fame title. When Robin’s busy schedule allowed, he also lead local parades, visited hospitals and nursing homes, and made trips to schools to educate students about the dangers of drug abuse. They say during community events and fundraisers that he was often seen carrying a donation basket or lunch box filled with candy for the kids.


In 2010 Mary was informed about her special boy Robin being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer just two days after his eighth birthday. Robin  had his  first Oncology appointment  at Cornell University. They had an all day appointment filled with blood work, scans, ultrasounds, and x-rays. The original mass removal was done by her vet, but the histopathology was done at Cornell, so there was probably little room for error in the diagnosis which was Cutaneous Epithelialtropic Lymphoma. They said it was in the early stages for this aggressive form of cancer. While there is never a good time to get a cancer diagnosis, the situation had been compounded by Mary and Robin being laid off from the Salamanca Police Department due to the Seneca Casino/NY state disputes. Robin’s medical bills were not covered by his police department, and the treatment was both extensive and expensive. Donations were made to save this dog who had given so much of his life for his community.

Robin retired from police work in 2010. “He certainly could have continued working because he wasn’t by any means acting old or showing any signs of his age,” MacQueen said. “But after Salamanca laid him off I didn’t feel any need to put him under the stress of trying to go back and work when he is trying to recover from a serious disease like cancer.”  Instead, Robin continued what MacQueen called “a ton of public relations” activities, including doing demonstrations for area schools and libraries and performing therapy work. His legacy is already continuing around the world. MacQueen said his grandson is currently one of the top winning golden retrievers in the history of Australia and there is also a large number of his offspring in the United States. “He was most notable in his fertility aspect for fathering many litters of service dogs to different organizations around the country,” she said. “That was one of his biggest legacies. There are a lot of other service animals for handicapped individuals, law enforcement-type dogs, detection dogs, etc., throughout the country because of him.”
Submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

October 20, 2014
Handler: Trooper Dave Chatfield
Wyoming Highway Patrol

K9 Robbie was struck and killed by a tractor trailer while performing a vehicle search near mile marker 266 of I-80, in the
area of the Elk Mountain. Robbie had searched the inside of the vehicle and was beginning to search the exterior when
 he ran into the roadway. He was struck by a tractor trailer that had moved into the left travel lane. K9 Robbie had
 served with the Wyoming Highway Patrol for only three months. The Patrol says the driver of the tractor-trailer
was not in violation of any laws at the time of the collision and has not been charged. Trooper Chatfield and Robbie
started training together in middle-July and started patrolling together as recently as late August.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

update: Jan. 27, 2015
It's Tim from La Grange,Texas. The handler for Robbie from Wyoming Highway Patrol was
Trooper Dave Chatfield ( you might wanna spell check his las name). I've got a plaque for Robbie that I'm waiting on to get back from the printer. What is the address where I can send it to? I've finally got everything ready for K9 Hawks (Sealy Texas Police)ceremony ready to go. Yes I know it takes me forever and a day to get these things together. That's his Medal of Merit. Since he passed on because of cancer I couldn't get him in for Medal of Honor ( there's a picture of K9 Hawk and his handler Eric walking into the Vets office for the final time. Officers on either side saluting him. They didn't ask for pity or expect none. Far as I'm concerned,decorate him with the MoH for that),but he qualified for the Medal of Merit. It was defined as "a lifetime of outstanding service". Works for me. I've still need to get his paperwork signed by Chief Tollett. It's set for February 21. I was gonna do it on February 14, but Deputy Walker reminded my that was when we had K9 Knights Medal of Honor ceremony last year. The 21st is my birthday and getting Hawk decorated is the best birthday I could ever have. I'll get the pics from Hawks ceremony to you as soon as we have it.
Thanks. Tim
Sent from my iPhone=

In Loving Memory of
September 9, 2014

Handler: Cpl. Darin Downey
Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office
498 Chattin Drive
Canton, Georgia 30115

Retired police dog dies of cancer

He led his handlers to dangerous narcotics and helped capture felons. And when he wasn’t fighting crime,
Rico represented the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office had hundreds of presentations before his retirement.

On Tuesday, the Sheriff’s Office announced Rico’s death from cancer. He was 11 years old. “Rico gave his heart
 and soul to this agency and this community,” Cpl. Darin Downey said in an emailed statement. “He enjoyed all
the school visits and the little hands that touched him and told him ‘good boy.’” Rico, a Belgian Malinois, was
assigned to Downey from Aug. 2005 until Nov. 2012, when the four-legged deputy retired. After his retirement,
 Rico developed cancer, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He lived with Downey and his family until his death.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
September 5, 2014

Handler: Constable Ryan Boutin  
Kawartha Lakes Police Service

Rock the police service dog dies

K9 member was diagnosed with bone cancer three weeks ago
Rock the police dog was euthanized on Friday, three weeks after his handler learned that he had been diagnosed
with bone cancer
. Rock had been part of the  City of Kawartha Lakes Police Service for three years. During
 that time, he captured
an inmate who fled the hospital  among other key cases. The picture shows the close
bond between Rock and his handler Const. Ryan Boutin. "Rock will be sadly missed," says Inspector Will Herbert.
Another dog that was being prepared for the role
did not make  the grade
this week so police
 are searching for a new K9 partner.
 submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
September 3, 2014

Handler: ? 
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
606 3rd St # 3,
Fairbury, NE 68352
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Announces Death of K9 Ringo

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office announced today, "It is with deep regret that we report the death of Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office K9 Ringo." Ringo came to the Sheriff’s office in 2007 and served diligently, from 2009 to 2010 Ringo served
 with the Fairbury Police Department and 2011 Ringo returned to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office where he served
until the time of his death. Ringo suffered from a medical condition that was being treated by a Veterinarian. Ringo
 passed away the morning of September 3rd, 2014. Ringo was a great asset to the community and to Law Enforcement in
 and around Jefferson County.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

August 27, 2014
Handler: Sgt. Jeff Lirette 
Houma Police Department
500 Honduras St
Houma, LA 70360

Houma PD mourning loss of K9

WEBSITE - very important member of the Houma Police Department died last week. Rex was found unresponsive in his kennel Wednesday

(August 27). A necropsy showed he died from a condition called gastric torsion or bloat. Rex joined Houma’s police force in 2011, after previously being owned by Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Jerry Larpenter. Since then he was used in various situations, narcotics searches, suspect apprehensions, and public demonstrations. “Rex was a very important part of the police department, and visited every school in the parish where we did demonstrations. He was a devoted, loyal, and dedicated partner and will be truly missed by his fellow officers, handler, and family,” Chief Todd Duplantis said in a release. The Houma Police Department will be having a memorial service on Friday at 1 p.m. at the Houma Municipal Auditorium on Verret Street.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
August 21, 2014

Handler: Const. Mike McGuigan 
York Regional Police Service
47 Don Hillock Dr
Aurora, ON
L4G 0S7
Burst tumor claims life of York Regional Police service dog
Park Regional Police service dog Ranger was involved in 41 apprehensions that resulted in more than 120 criminal charges.

A burst tumour has claimed the life of York Regional Police service dog Ranger. During his time with the force, Ranger was
involved in 41 apprehensions and more than 120 criminal charges were laid as a result of his work, according to the force.
He was not only a crime-fighter though, he also helped police locate missing and suicidal people. Ranger was born in the
Czech Republic and trained to become a police dog in 2007. The dog began working with his handler, Const. Mike McGuigan,
 in 2008 and they placed second overall in the annual Police Iron Dog Competition for provincial canine teams.
He was trained in handler protection, tracking, building and area searches, article search, suspect apprehension,
obedience and cadaver detection. Further testing on his body showed cancer had spread through his kidneys,
spleen and liver. The dog died peacefully with McGuigan by his side Aug 21.
 submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
August 25, 2014

Handler: Officer Brian Kelley
Previous Handler: Sgt. Erik Gutsfeld
Rocky Hill Police Department

Rocky Hill K-9 takes last ride after cancer diagnosis

The Rocky Hill Police Department said goodbye to a beloved K-9 on Monday. Rocky, a dog that's been a member of the department
for nine years, was diagnosed with cancer last week. "Very loyal to his handler," said Officer Brian Kelley of Rock Hill's
 K-9 unit. "And very loyal to his family." Not wanting him to suffer, Rocky's handlers chose to put him to sleep. Before
that however, they wanted to give him a fitting tribute. "Rocky was a phenomenal dog," Kelley said. Rocky was partnered
with Sgt. Erik Gutsfeld, who took him on his final ride to the vet in their police cruiser. Those who knew the dog said he
 lived up to the old adage "man's best friend." "A tremendous worker, loved to work," Kelley said. "Was a constant
professional when it comes to dogs." Supporters stood along Cromwell Avenue to say their final goodbyes as he rode for
 the last time. Officers from other towns also gathered. Officers could also be heard on their radios bidding farewell.
They all said they found comfort in knowing that he had one more ride. After nine years of service, it was the sendoff
 Rocky's family said he deserved. 
 submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
August 15, 2014

Handler: Det. Const. Jeff Burns
Durham Regional Police

605 Rossland Rd.  E,  Box 911
Whitby, Ontario, Canada; L1N 0B8


Cops mourn loss of service dog

Durham cops are grieving for a veteran police service dog that died suddenly last week. Reese, a five-year-old German
Shepard, died suffered a “medical episode” brought on by a blood clot and died on Aug. 15 while off-duty, Durham
Regional Police said in a press release. Reese and his handler, Det.-Const. Jeff Burns, have been part of the canine
unit since 2010 and have dozens of arrests to their credit. In addition to their normal duties, the pair had recently
 been certified in drug and gun detection. The loss of Reese is the first time an in-service police dog has died in the
 23-year history of the police force.
 submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

October 26, 2011 - August 12, 2013 

1st Handler: Sgt. Erik A. Gutsfeld
2nd Handler: Ofc. Keith Baker
Rocky Hill Police Department
699 Old Main Street
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
It is with great sadness I announce the passing of RHPD K-9 Rudy. K-9 Rudy was attending his monthly in service K-9 training yesterday 08/12/14 with Ofc. Keith Baker. K-9 Rudy was in his vehicle taking a break from his training exercise when he
passed away. K9 Rudy was approximately 3 years old and joined the CPWDA in 2013. K-9 Rudy was a member of the
department since October 2012. His first handler Erik Gutsfeld trained and worked K-9 Rudy until being promoted in
December 2013. At that time K-9 Rudy was reassigned to Ofc. Keith Baker. A memorial service for K-9 Rudy will be
sometime in the near future.  
(submitted by Jim Cortina, CPWDA)
Condolences can be sent to: 
Ofc. Keith Baker
Sgt. Erik A. Gutsfeld
K-9 Unit Supervisor
Rocky Hill Police Department
699 Old Main St.
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
Phone (860) 258-7640
Fax (860) 563-6124

In Loving Memory of

MAY 2014

(need photo)
Handler: Officer Jason Delair
Fontana Police Department
17005 Upland Ave.
Fontana, CA 92335
 K9 Oscar is under 2014-O
Fontana Police K9 program thrives, but two retired dogs pass away

After giving many years of service to the local community, retired Police K9s Oscar and Ricky recently passed away,
 according to the Fontana Police Department.


• K9 Oscar joined the Fontana Police Department in 2003 and was assigned to Officer Mario Nelson. In 2004, Oscar was
reassigned to Officer Joe Moreno until Oscar retired in 2008. He served the Fontana P.D. for five years and remained in
 the care of Moreno in retirement. He was 14 years old when he passed away in late May. "Oscar was a great dog,
an outstanding partner and will be missed very much," said Moreno.


• K9 Ricky joined the Fontana P.D. in 2004. He was assigned to Officer Jason Delair from 2004 until his retirement
 in 2010. Ricky remained in the care of Delair in retirement and was 12 years old when he passed away in late June.
"Ricky was the best partner an officer could ask for. He did what he was told and never talked back," said Delair.
 "He loved his job serving Fontana and we were inseparable."


The K9 Unit is considered a valuable asset to the Fontana P.D. and to the community, and the officers enjoy the
partnership with their four-legged friends. The Fontana P.D. retires each K9 after it reaches 10 years of age.
Fontana's K9 Unit began in 1976 and was the first such unit in San Bernardino County. Over the decades, the program
has grown from one K9 to six patrol K9s.
A new training center for the dogs opened in 2012 and was honored with an
 award from State Attorney General Kamala Harris. "It's a world-class facility," said Lieutenant Gary Aulis.


The facility includes specialized equipment such as a detection wall, blinds, obstacles, and a K9 search house. Community
 donations made the training center a reality at no cost to the city. Fontana K9 Pals, a non-profit organization, has
 purchased every dog used by the Fontana P.D for more than 20 years, with the exception of K9 Jaris, which was
 purchased through a Homeland Security grant. At $10,000 per dog, the savings have been significant for the city.
submitted by: Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

July 5, 2014
Handler: Deputy Todd Trobaugh  
Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office
407 7th St
Sioux City, IA
Rudy, longtime Woodbury County K9, dies

Rudy, an 11-year veteran of the Woodbury County Sheriff’s K9 unit, died Saturday. Sheriff Dave Drew said
several factors, including age and a bladder issue, contributed to 14-year-old Rudy’s death.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

June 30, 2014
Tallahassee Police Department
234 E Seventh Ave.
Tallahassee, FL 32303  
Police mourn the loss of a retired K9
The Tallahassee Police Department mourns the loss of a retired K9 named Rusty. The dog began working with the
 police department in 2000. In his eight year career as part of the interdiction unit, he set records for the amount
of seizures. He's credited with finding $3.1 million in cash and assets, 40 kilograms of crack and powder cocaine
 and  almost 4,000 pounds of marijuana. Rusty also did demonstrations for kids in the area. Officers say he enjoyed
 chasing the ball and running in a spacious yard during his years in retirement.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

June 24, 2014
Handler: Corporal Shane Hawley  
Edmonds Police Department
250 5th Ave N.
Edmonds, WA 98020
Retired police dog Rocky passes away

Police Chief Al Compaan presents Officer Shane Hawley and Rocky with the Distinguished Service Citation for Valor in 2011.


The Edmonds Police Department announced that retired police dog Rocky died Tuesday morning, with his longtime handler Corporal
Shane Hawley at his side. “Hawley and Rocky were an extremely effective and successful team from January 2004 through January 2011, resulting in the capture of 102 criminal suspects,” the Edmonds PD announcement said. “Their working career together culminated with Corporal Hawley being awarded the Meritorious Service Citation and Rocky being awarded the Distinguished Service Citation for Valor in 2011.” Rocky had several medical/injury episodes during his working life, “but he always powered through and came back even stronger,” the announcement noted. After his retirement in 2011, Rocky remained part of the Hawley household.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
May 28, 2014

Handler: Officer Scott Stafford  
Lewiston Police Department
4059 Creek Rd
Youngstown, NY 14174

Police Department announces K9 Radar has passed away
The Lewiston Police Department, on its Facebook page Wednesday night, announced that its first police K9 Radar has passed
away. "It is with deep regret and sorrow that LPD reports the passing of our K9 "Radar". During a recent certification
 training Radar became ill and was taken to Cornell University where he was diagnosed with splenic cancer."
Lewiston K9 Officer Scott Stafford said, "Today I had the most unfortunate task of taking my partner
with my family to our veterinarian to euthanize him, he is now watching over us with the rest of the guardians.
Radar was the first police K9 in Lewiston history, he set the bench mark pretty high. We had may
successful tracks with apprehensions, drug searches and money sniffs, along with some failures too, but he
was well respected in the law enforcement community. Radar was able to disrupt the lives of many criminals,
 for that he got my respect, my admiration and most of all my love. I truly believe Radar liked tracking
criminals more then I do. It is never easy losing a pet but it seems a little bit harder to lose a partner, buddy and friend."
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

May 16, 2014
Handler: Sgt. John Mendham
Mason County Sheriff's Office
302 N Delia St
Ludington, MI 49431
Retired Mason County Sheriff's Office K-9 Rex has died

The Mason County Sheriff's Office K-9 Rex has died. The dog was with the county agency for 10 years and died
 Friday, May 16, with his handler, Sgt. John Mendham, at his side. The dog won numerous state awards and was
nationally recognized for finding cocaine hidden in a vehicle engine compartment, among other things.
 The dog had officially retired from service in 2013. The newest K-9, Cash, is now in service.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

May 20, 2014
Handler: Patrolman Robert Swartz 
Taunton Police Department
23 Summer Street
Taunton, MA 02780
Taunton Police mourn the loss of heroic K9
Taunton Police are mourning the loss of a retired K9 unit, Renko, who they describe as a hero. Renko, a German Sheppard,
is credited with saving his handler when an armed suspect threatened the officer with a weapon. In 2012, shortly before
 his retirement, Renko and his handler Patrolman Robert Swartz were pursuing an armed suspect. The suspect ran
around a building. Swartz and Renko pursued him. Before Swartz was able to see the suspect, Renko pulled him hard
 to the left and went after the suspect. At that point, the officer saw the suspect to be armed and pointing a weapon
 at him. To this day he credits the dog for saving his life.

Renko was born in Nov. of 2003 and hired by the department in 2005. He served for 7 years before his retirement.
He died on Tuesday morning at the age of 10 1/2. He finished out his life living at the home of his handler Swartz.
 Renko was trained in drug detection, handler protection, building searches, and evidence searched. He was also
known to perform in public demonstrations. "A true guardian of the night he was never one to complain, always
eager to go to work and always willing to place himself in harms way to protect the citizens, his handler and
the officers of the department. May he RIP," said Patrolman Swartz in a statement.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

May 6, 2014

Handler: Cpl. Jarrod Trickett
RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police)
British Columbia
Police dog ‘Rook’ dies

Terrace’s only police dog ‘Rook’ passed away suddenly on Tuesday of natural causes. Cst. Angela Rabut from the
Terrace RCMP said in a statement “It is with a heavy heart that I advise police dog Rook passed away yesterday of
 natural causes during a training exercise.” Rook, a nine-year-old German Shepherd, worked with his handler,
 Cpl. Jarrod Trickett. “PDS Rook was a hardworking, dedicated, member of the RCMP, serving the people of
British Columbia well,” said Radut. His cause of death has not been released at this time. Rook was the
region’s only police service dog so now the RCMP are in the process of acquiring another one.
 “In the interim our area is being covered by the Prince George police dog,” said Radut.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

May 3, 2014


(requested photo of K9 Rico)

1ST Handler: Officer Scott Durkee
2ND Handler: Officer Chad Brown 
Pleasant Prairie Police Department
8600 Green Bay Rd
Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158
Pleasant Prairie police mourn the loss of former k-9 officer

The Pleasant Prairie Police Department sadly announces the death of retired K-9 officer Rico on Saturday, May 3rd. Rico was born on October 22, 2003 in the Netherlands and then sent to Spring Hope, North Carolina, in 2004 to train for duty. In 2005, Rico joined the Pleasant Prairie Police Department and was assigned to K-9 Handler Scott Durkee. In 2008, Rico was re-assigned to K-9 Handler Chad Brown. Both handlers attended and graduated from a six-week canine handler course in Spring Hope. The police department says Rick retired in late 2011 due to medical conditions.

During his six years on duty, Rico captured several fugitives, assisted in tracking lost children and elderly subjects, located narcotics, and preformed vehicle searches. Rico was also a steward of public relations and fostered a positive relationship between the Department and residents through many public appearances and K-9 demonstrations. Police say in Rico’s retirement, he continued to reside with his handler Officer Chad Brown. The Police Department say Rico was part of the departments family, as well as the Brown’s family. They say the loss is significant for everyone.   submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

March 18, 2014
Handler: Deputy Greg Thomason
Harris County Sheriffs Dept.
Harris County Deputy Canine Laid to Rest

Deputy Greg Thomason with the Harris County Precinct 4 Constables Office acquired Ricco, his canine partner in 2004. For the next 7 years they worked side by side. Ricco was responsible for 300 criminal apprehensions, locating many lost children and adults and taking thousands of pounds of drugs off the streets. Not to mention saving over $2 million in cash assets seized from drug trafficking and saving Thomason’s life several times. Ricco would go where no man would go many times in search of a suspect, he wouldn’t complain, he was fearless and he usually returned with a suspect who was being sought. Not just in buildings but heavily wooded areas, swamps, and creeks.

In 2010 Ricco retired and was given his credentials as a Precinct 4 Deputy. He went on to live with Greg and his family. He became very different after his retirement, instead of wanting to bite or remove the hide off a fleeing suspect he would lick someone to death. He was always happy to see Thomason but a little disappointed that he wasn’t able to work with him for the day. Thomason said he spent more time with Ricco then he did his own family. In 2008 Thomason came up with a motto for Ricco, “I would sacrifice mine to save yours.” Harris County Precinct 4 Assistant Chief Woody Mitchell said Ricco was a very dynamic and good dog.

He said the dog and handler worked together as a team and when Ricco retired it didn’t stop there, it continues on. The family grew very attached to Ricco and were devastated when a trip to the vet recently revealed a lump on his leg was actually cancer. It wasn’t just there but in his lymph glands throughout his body. The only option was to amputate the leg which would maybe give it a few more months in pain before the cancer took over. A decision was made to let Ricco die with dignity and among friends. Thomason said he wasn’t going to put his partner through that with his stature and wanted Ricco to go out knowing he was still on top.

Mitchell said, “our community today is a safer community now because of Ricco and the hard work and dedication that Ricco had with Greg, his handler.” Tuesday afternoon Deputies with Harris County Precinct 4 Constables Office, Humble Police, Montgomery County Precinct 3 Constables Office, Montgomery County Precinct 2 Constables Office and Cypress Creek EMS along with their Honor Guard and many other friends and family gathered at Thomason’s home in Montgomery. Just after 3:30 p.m. a vet from Spring Hill Animal Hospital along with her technicians arrived at the Thomason home.

Many gathered inside and said good-bye to Ricco one last time. Ricco’s flag draped body was then removed from the house by Cypress Creek EMS Honor Guard and loaded into Thomason’s vehicle in which Ricco had accompanied his partner for years. With a full escort of police vehicles and motorcycles escorted Deputy Ricco to a Pet Care facility in Grimes County near Anderson where he will be cremated.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
March 1, 2014

Handler: Officer
Chad Norris
Barrow County Sheriff’s Office

233 E. Broad Street
Winder, GA 30680

Police narcotics dog Ranger dies

County Sheriff K9 handler Chad Norris takes Ranger his Labrador Retriever out of his cruiser during
 a hands-on training seminar in 2011.

Before his retirement eight months ago, Ranger, a police narcotics dog,
 had a successful career at the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office.

Since April 2004, the black Labrador Retriever had not only sniffed out several pounds of illegal drugs,
but also performed at community events and was loved by police officers and local residents alike.
 Ranger, born Nov. 2, 2002, died on Saturday after a successful tenure as a police partner – and man’s best friend.
“He loved being around people and children,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
 “Ranger will be missed by the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office, and mostly by the handlers
that were lucky enough to be able to have him as a partner.”

A search was launched for the missing dog after it was discovered that he had escaped his handler’s
 fenced-in yard Friday night. Ranger was found on the side of Highway 211 after being hit by a car
 and was rushed to a veterinarian, who pronounced Ranger dead. Ranger was good at his job, authorities said.
 In the past decade, he helped locate about $300,000 worth of drug-seized funds,
15.5 pounds of cocaine, 3.5 pounds of methamphetamine, several vehicles containing drugs and other
 illegal narcotics and paraphernalia. Ranger will be laid to rest on
Tuesday, March 11 at 1 p.m. at Oak Rest Pet Gardens at 2691 Harbins Rd. in Bethlehem.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
March 4, 2014

Handler: Officer Christopher Guadagno
Fort Pierce Police Department

920 South U.S. Highway 1
Fort Pierce, FL  34950

K9 Rex passing announced
The Fort Pierce Police Department sadly announces the passing of one of our recently retired K9 dogs. In his 8 years of
 service K9 Rex and his handler Officer Christopher Guadagno apprehended more than 350 criminals including 200 burglars
nd several other violent offenders. K9 Rex has given uncompromising commitment to Officer Guadagno, our police
department and our community. Please keep Officer Guadagno and his family in your thoughts and prayers as
they mourn the loss of a true partner and friend.
Submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
February 7, 2014

Handler: Officer Mike Fink
South Euclid Police Department
1349 South Green Road
South Euclid, Ohio 44121

Officer says goodbye to beloved K9

Rex, a retired South Euclid police dog, passed away Friday night, surrounded by the family and friends that loved him.
The much-loved dog spent over a decade on the force, working most of that time with Officer Mike Fink. It was
 with Fink that Rex lived out most of his days - going to work together as partners and coming home each night,
where Rex was part of the Fink family. In recent days, the aging dog's health has worsened. Officer Mike Fink
 posted the following message on the South Euclid Police Department's facebook page:


"Yesterday, after nearly 12 years together, I said goodbye to my partner and friend for the last time. Retired
 South Euclid Police K9 Rex passed away peacefully with his family at his side, and surrounded by friends who
 loved him. Rex's condition had worsened, and it was not fair to allow a proud warrior to continue to suffer.
Rex was so much to so many people. To the men and women at the South Euclid Police Department,
 he was a fellow officer, to the children at Adrian Elementary School, he was the police dog who came to
 visit them in their classroom. To my family, he was their beloved dog, who went to work with me and made sure
 I came home safe each night. To me, he was a brother who will be remembered for his undeniable courage,
 his fierce loyalty and his remarkable love of children. We spent over 10 years in a police car together and
 I still miss him every day. His retirement was good, spent getting my son on and off the school bus and being
spoiled by my daughter. His life was a wonderful blessing and I am thankful for the time we spent together
 and the friends we made along the way. I could not have asked for a better partner.
Rest easy big dog…we'll take it from here…."
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
January 30, 2014

Artist creating bronze statue to honor fallen K-9 officer Rocco
12/26/14  -  Pennsylvania 

The local police dog killed in the line of duty will soon become part of a Pittsburgh landmark. Pittsburgh artist Susan Wagner is creating a bronze statue of K-9 officer Rocco to honor him. “I was so happy to be able to do this for the police,” said Wagner. The statue she is making will go right next to the police officer that she created for the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on the North Shore. “The K-9 deserves attention. They are very much loved by their partners,” Wagner said. The statue is being built in pieces at a foundry in Cleveland. The head has already been completed, and the statue will be almost life-size. Channel 11 witnessed the bronze being poured into the body of the cast. After bronze bars are melted and heated to the right temperature, it's carefully poured into a ceramic cylinder.


Inside, a wax mold is melted down, and the bronze will fill up the cavity to make the statue. Wagner said she has wanted to make a K-9 for years and just joined forces with the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial this year to make the K-9 memorial a reality. “We have four K-9s in Allegheny County that have been killed in the line of duty. Rocco last year in January brought it to everyone's attention that our partners were left out,” said Cmdr. Donna Best, the president of the Law Enforcement Officers K-9 Memorial. Best said the group is $50,000 short on its funding and could use the public’s help. It's something that Wagner said everyone in Pittsburgh will benefit from. “The idea is these both go to watch over the spirit of the fallen policemen watching over our city,” she said. The statue is on schedule to be unveiled at a yearly ceremony in May.

Handler: Officer Lerza
Pittsburgh Police Department Pennsylvania
Zone 2, 2000 Center Ave.
Pittsburg, PA  15219
42 255.2827

Police dog Rocco has died after being stabbed.


please check URL above regarding Rothlesberger's help (Steelers)

Rocco, an 8-year-old German shepherd, Pittsburgh police K-9 officer, has died after being stabbed. City police officials were preparing for a press conference this evening to detail the circumstances of the German shepherd's rapid demise today. Earlier, police spokeswoman Diane Richard said Rocco had been improving at the Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center on Camp Horne Road. But this afternoon, dozens of Pittsburgh police officers began arriving at the clinic to pay their last respects to Rocco, who was stabbed Tuesday night while apprehending a suspect.

The dog was commanded to go after a fugitive, 21-year-old John Rush of Stowe, who police said was found lurking in the basement of a building in the 3700 block of Butler Street in Lawrenceville. Police said Mr. Rush -- also accused of resisting Allegheny County sheriff's deputies' attempts to arrest him earlier that night on numerous warrants -- swung "wildly" at officers with a pocket knife and stabbed the dog and an officer, and injured two others officers in the ensuing scuffle. Rocco had two surgeries and multiple blood transfusions Wednesday. Workers from the Allegheny County medical examiner's office expect to take Rocco to their Strip District office tonight for examination.

When he learned of the dog's death tonight, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto issued the following statement: "I am saddened to learn about the passing of K9 Officer Rocco. He served this city faithfully and paid the ultimate price in the line of duty in service of the residents of our city. His brave actions very possibly spared the lives of two other officers. My thoughts and prayers are with his fellow officers and the entire Pittsburgh Police Bureau."
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

Roethlisberger Foundation 
 poised to help replace slain Pittsburgh police dog

February 3, 2014 11:01 PM

District judge defends high bond in Pittsburgh police dog killing
By Amy McConnell Schaarsmith and Liz Navratil / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

However priceless a police K-9 like Rocco becomes to his handler, his handler's family and his unit,
acquiring and training him comes at great cost.
The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police spends between $6,500 and $8,000 to purchase an untrained dog with
Rocco's raw talent for police work, according to a spokesperson. Sharpening that talent into real,
proven skills can costs tens of thousands of dollars and months of training, creating an
additional burden for an already grieving police unit when a canine officer dies.
Pittsburgh is still mourning the loss of Rocco, an 8-year-old German shepherd originally from
the Czech Republic who will be honored with a service at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and
Museum in Oakland on Friday. But while no one can replace Rocco, who died Thursday evening from
blood loss and pneumonia resulting from a stab wound from a suspect, the department might soon
have help with the expense of finding and training another K-9 officer.
The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, begun by the Steelers quarterback in 2006 to acquire and train
police dogs, plans to begin announcing grants now that the Super Bowl is over, said foundation
relationship manager Jessica Duffaut.
"I do believe we'll be making a separate announcement regarding Rocco's department and what we
might be able to do for them," Ms. Duffaut said. Ms. Duffaut did not discuss what, if any, dollar
amount might be offered. Since 2006, the foundation has made grants in excess of $1 million.
For now, she said, Pittsburgh residents need a chance to grieve for Rocco.
Pittsburgh police have not yet discussed replacing Rocco, according to spokeswoman Diane Richard.
The bureau's dogs are not covered by life or health insurance, she said.
And while the dog itself is expensive, the training is even more of an investment, with a four-week
basic training course for apprehending a suspect costing more than $13,000 at one well-known
training center that supplies police dogs to many Pennsylvania departments.
At that kennel, Castle's K9 outside Harrisburg, a basic four-week narcotics detection course costs
about $11,000 while a six-week explosives detection course costs more than $16,000, according to
the center's website.
Rocco's Friday morning service originally was going to be closed, but Officer Phil Lerza, who was
Rocco's handler, and his family asked that it be opened to the public due to an outpouring of
support for the fallen police dog and the police bureau.


Officer Phil Lerza sobbed. He exited the glass double doors and walked away from the building. Inside, his fellow Pittsburgh police officers lined the hallways of the veterinary office, some in their uniforms, others sporting green canine unit sweatshirts, as he was. They had just lost one of their own -- and Officer Lerza had lost his partner. Canine Rocco died at 6:17 p.m. Thursday at the Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center in Ohio Township "after a good fight," Zone 2 Cmdr. Eric Holmes said. The 8-year-old German shepherd was stabbed Tuesday night while apprehending a suspect. "Officer Lerza lost a member of his family," the commander said.

Hopes for Rocco's recovery had grown Thursday. About 8:30 a.m., police spokeswoman Diane Richard said Rocco was resting while his blood count improved. Four hours later, she said he had been upgraded from critical to serious condition. He had begun resting on his sternum rather than on his side, she said. Often wiping tears from her eyes, staff surgeon Julie Compton said Thursday night that Rocco remained in the intensive care unit all day, but was upgraded from a table to a dog run, a cage or kennel where he could get up. But as the day wore on, word began to circulate that Rocco's condition had deteriorated.

By early evening, dozens of Pittsburgh police officers -- and their canines -- arrived at the Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center to pay their respects to Rocco. Ms. Compton said Rocco suffered from additional bleeding and had developed pneumonia. The dog succumbed to his injuries and was not euthanized. "He fought as hard here as he did out on the field," she said. Ms. Richard said Rocco would be laid to rest with honors. "This is a police officer; it just happens to be a canine," she said. Around 7 p.m., officers, canine handlers and their four-legged partners lined the cold sidewalk outside the vet center.

A retired canine officer played bagpipes, as police assisted a gurney, draped with an American flag, from the clinic. Officers presented arms. Then, a procession of dozens of K-9 units, cruisers and motorcycles with flashing lights left the veterinarian center, headed Downtown and then to Oak Crest Pet Crematory, on Cemetery Lane in Ross. Rocco's body will remain at Oak Crest while arrangements are made for a ceremony, staff there said. Mayor Bill Peduto, who later ordered city building flags to be lowered to half-staff today in honor of Rocco, said he met with Officer Lerza, who had been Rocco's partner since 2010, and his wife Thursday evening.

Rocco "died saving one of his fellow" officers, the mayor said. Police said Rocco, who joined the force in 2008, suffered from a 3-inch-deep stab wound that lacerated muscle and his kidney, causing major blood loss. While officers awaited word on Rocco's condition, homicide detectives obtained a warrant charging the man accused of stabbing the dog and wounding several officers. John Rush, 21, who previously lived in McKees Rocks but had recently been homeless, faces felony charges of abusing a police animal, disarming a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault, burglary and misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty, resisting arrest and possessing instruments of a crime.

He was being held without bond in the Allegheny County Jail. The felony three charge of abuse of a police animal stood whether or not Rocco died, District attorney's office spokesman Mike Manko said. Members of the Allegheny County sheriff's office were searching for Rush, a convicted sex offender, on a bench warrant signed earlier this month when they spotted him carrying several bags while walking Tuesday night on Butler Street in Lawrenceville. Deputy John Herb asked Rush for his name and identification and Rush lunged toward the deputy's gun then began hitting him in the face, the complaint says.

The deputy tried to stop him by using a Taser, but Rush ran into the basement of a home in the 3700 block of Butler Street, police said. Rocco and Officer Lerza were among those who responded to a call for a suspicious man. Officer Lerza stood by the doorway of the basement and shouted three times, "Pittsburgh Police K-9," and warned the man to "sound off" or the dog would come for him, police wrote. Police said Rush "lunged out from near a pillar and attacked K-9 Rocco," swinging the knife about while the dog attempted to bite his upper torso and arm.

Rush, police said, punched Officer Daniel Nowak, who told him he was under arrest, and hit Officer John Baker in the head several times. Officer Lerza sustained a puncture wound to the back and was treated at UPMC Mercy. A fourth officer sustained a knee injury. Court documents did not indicate whether Rush had an attorney who could comment on a possible defense in charges related to Rocco's death. But in similar cases throughout the country, suspects sometimes claim self defense to explain why they killed or injured police dogs. The Pittsburgh police K-9 unit includes 21 dogs, in addition to Rocco. Police praised K-9 instructor Dan Tice's commitment.

"Officer Tice has done a tremendous job through this whole process. He has been here night and day, hardly any sleep at all," Ms. Richard said at the vet center Thursday night. He and Officer Lerza declined comment. "We need our officers, especially our canine officers, to go through their grieving process," she said. Pittsburgh has protective vests for its police dogs, but they are not used in every situation, officers said earlier this week. Representatives from the Humane Society's Pennsylvania office and for a national police canine group said they encourage officers to put protective vests on their dogs when possible but recognize that might not always be practical.

Unlike humans, the dogs cannot quickly don them or wear them for prolonged periods because in warm climates the dogs could overheat, said Russ Hess, national executive director of the United States Police Canine Association. Additionally, he said, a dog needs to be trained to grow accustomed to the vest or it will try to remove it, like a puppy trying to pull off a collar. If police have properly trained a dog and have ample time to prepare before a call, it might make sense to equip a dog with a vest, Mr. Hess said. But, he added, "In the fast line of police work, sometimes that option's not available."

Mr. Peduto said Thursday night he talked with canine handlers to determine if they needed additional protection, though he said they did not feel that they do. As the story of Rocco's struggle unfolded Thursday, scores of people expressed their feelings on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's website. Wrote one man, "It is a sad and painful day for those of us with feeling for animals and those that love them. I am crushed to hear the sad news. God bless his handler and his family and all who cared for this precious and unique boy. They shall be in the thoughts of caring people in the days to come.

We are newly reminded of the danger that our human and K-9 officers face, that their lives are on the line every day as they deal with the criminal element." A woman wrote, "My thoughts and prayers go out to Rocco's handler, family, friends and the entire City Of Pittsburgh Police Department for the loss of fallen Officer K-9 Rocco in the line of duty. "RIP, Beautiful Boy. Heaven
has another Angel.

PITTSBURGH (AP) – A man whose fatal stabbing of a K-9 prompted Pennsylvania lawmakers to stiffen the penalty for harming
 police animals has been sentenced to up to 44 years in prison.
  A judge on Tuesday decided John Lewis Rush should serve
 a minimum of 17 years, nine months in prison and said he must also serve eight years of probation after being released.
The 22-year-old Stowe Township resident was convicted in December of torturing a police animal, aggravated assault on the
dog’s handler and three other officers, and other offenses.Police say Rush stabbed the dog and wounded two officers
 trying to arrest him in January 2014 on warrants for violating probation and failing to register as a sex offender.
Rush says he stabbed the dog in self-defense.  submitted by "Lulu" Louise Krause.... author of K9 webpages ...

In Loving Memory of
January 13, 2014


Federal Reserve Police
Detroit, MI

K9 Remi was killed in an automobile accident on I-96 while she and her handler were en route to the Detroit Branch
of the Federal Reserve Bank for an assignment at the vehicle inspection facility. The handler's vehicle slid into a
 concrete barrier after sliding on a patch of ice. Remi's crate was ejected from the vehicle through a rear window
 and broke open. She was subsequently struck by a another vehicle, which then fled the scene. K9 Remi served
 as an explosives detection canine and had served with the agency for only two months.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

condolences may be sent to:
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago - Detroit Branch Police
1600 East Warren Avenue
Detroit, MI 48207
Ph: (313) 961-6880