Every year, hundreds of working dogs give their lives either in the line of duty or after a lifetime of service. These heroic dogs did not volunteer for the careers in which they found themselves. They were drafted, conscripted by their innate drive, ferocity, and athleticism to serve as warriors, searchers, and guardians alongside their human counterparts.
We must never underestimate or forget the sacrifice these brave creatures made to keep our society and world a little bit safer. Below are the names and stories of many of these K9s.
Blue stars indicate killed in service/on duty.
Trixie Portland, ME FD (Ret.) EOW 11/20/2020 Trixie served as an explosives detection dog for the city of Portland for ten years, including details for three US Presidents and to protect Pope Francis during his North American visit. She was recently diagnosed with cancer and retired to live with her handler.
Sjaak LaVergne TN PD EOW 11/17/2020 Sjaak was in a patrol car with his officer when a man pulled up and opened fire on them. The Belgian Malinois was struck three times. After a short pursuit, the shooter exchanged more gunfire with officers and was killed. Sjaak died at the vet hospital a short time later. The human officer was unhurt, Sjaak had been with the department since 2014.
Kato Muscle Shoals PD (Ret.) EOW 11/4/2020 Kato served with the department for four years. The German Shepherd was retired several weeks ago after being diagnosed with leukemia and went through a sudden decline in health.
Ranger Washington Co. AR Sheriff’s Office EOW 11/2/2020 Ranger began working with the department in 2011. The Belgian Malinois was trained to locate illegal drugs, find lost articles, and track lost people and received several awards from the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association. He was 11-years old.
Ricky US Secret Service EOW 10/22/2020 It was announced via social media that Ricky, a Belgian Malinois, had passed away due to complications from surgery.
Ruger Coweta, GA Sheriff’s Dept. (Ret.) EOW 10/17/2020 Ruger began working with the department in 2013. Unfortunately, the Belgian Malinois had to retire just two years later, in 2015, for medical reasons. He lived out his life as a family pet with his former handler. He was 11-years old.
Kilo St. Louis County, MN Sheriff’s Dept. (Ret.) EOW 10/16/2020 Retired police K9, Kilo passed away unexpectedly. The German Shepherd retired due to age related medical reasons in 2019 with nine years, hundreds of deployments, and thousands in cash/narcotic seizures to his credit. His handler says he also helped bridge the gap with at-risk youths by visiting classrooms and meeting the kids.
Cado Tulsa, OK PD (Ret.) EOW 10/16/2020 Cado began working with the Tulsa department in 2010. The German Shepherd served until his retirement in 2018.
Largo Chatham County, GA (Ret.) EOW 10/8/2020 K-9 Largo served with the sheriff’s office in the explosives detection division for 4 years. Prior to arriving in Chatham County, the German Shepherd spent five years in the military, deploying out of Fort Benning and serving two tours in Afghanistan. He retired to live with his handler in 2018. Photo by:Savannah Morning News
Gus Orangeburg County, SC Sheriff’s Dept. (Ret.) EOW 10/2/2020 Gus began his career with OCSO in November 2012 specializing in evidence recovery, missing persons/suspect tracking, narcotics, and meet and greets at schools. The German Shepherd is credited with one of the largest heroin bust in county history. He retired in March after becoming ill. He was 10-years old.
Roxy Mission, TX PD EOW 10/03/2020 Roxy’s passing was announced via social media. The Belgian Malinois served seven years with the department. She was 9-years old.
Yukon Chester County, PA Sheriff’s Dept. (Ret.) EOW 09/28/2020 Yukon was born in West Germany and began working with the department in 2010. The German Shepherd retired in 2019, but continued “working” by patrolling the halls of a local high school from his wheelchair and becoming an ambassador of the #RetiredPoliceK9Foundation. He was 11-years old.
Drax Foxborough, MA PD (Ret.) EOW 09/25/2020 Drax began his training with the department in late 2018. The German/Dutch Shepherd cross was trained as a dual purpose K9. He retired in early September after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. He was 3-years old.
Leroy Forest County (WI) Sheriff’s Department EOW 09/23/2020 Leroy joined the department in autumn of 2018. The German Shepherd was trained as a dual purpose K9. The department said he had been dealing with health issues.
Castor Alma, MI PD (Ret.) EOW 09/24/2020 Castor began working as a dual purpose patrol dog in 2010. He retired in 2017 to live with his handler. The German Shepherd was born in Poland. He was 11-years old.
Maxx Warren, OH PD (Ret.) EOW 09/21/2020 Maxx was imported from Holland and began his career with WPD in 2010. The dual purpose K9 retired in 2018. A Belgian Malinois, Maxx was put to rest after suffering severely debilitating Canine Degenerative Myelopathy. He was 11-years old.
Castro Scottsdale, AZ PD EOW 9/11/2020 Castro began working with SPD in July 2014. At the time of his passing, the Belgian Malinois was still serving as a dual-purpose Patrol/Narcotic Canine. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor and passed away less than a week later.
Jasmine St. Mary’s County MD SO EOW 9/14/2020 Jasmine began her career in the Us Marine Corps where she served for four years. She started with the SMSO four years ago and received specialized training in explosives detection and search and rescue. Her handler says the black lab was an active participant in many community K9 demonstrations and loved visiting area schools.
Blue Gwinnett County GA PD EOW 09/10/2020 SWAT K9 Blue was killed during a shootout after tracking down a suspect who had fled from a stolen car. Blue was the first full-time k-9 assigned to the agency. The Belgian Malinois was 5-years old and had been with the department for a year.
Bazer Pittsburgh, PA PD (Ret.) EOW 09/06/2020 K9 Bazer served with the Pittsburgh PD for six years beginning in 2008. The German Shepherd retired in 2014 and went to live with his handler’s family. He was 13.
PPatriot Marine MWD EOW 09/05/2020 Ppatriot, a 5-year-old male malinois MWD, was trained in patrolling and explosives detection and had been at the base for four months. His death is currently under investigation, according to a release from Marine Corps Logistics Base.
Alamo Barling, AR PD EOW 8/30/2020 Alamo began his law enforcement career in Little Rock before joining Barling PD. The Belgian Malinois received his national certification earlier this summer. He was 3-years old. He was found unresponsive in his kennel, but there is no definitive cause of death.
Chester Laredo, TX PD EOW 08/30/2020 Chester spent four years on the city’s airport team as their sole explosives dog and one of three currency detection dogs. The yellow lab was found unresponsive after being left unattended in a car. The officer has been fired and an investigation into the incident is underway as of this writing. Chester was 6-years old.
Joe Joe Huron County, OH Sheriff’s Department EOW 8/27/2020 Joe Joe began serving with the department in 2014 after a stint with Danbury Township Police. The 7-year old German Shepherd had been in declining health and a veterinarian diagnosed the K-9 with cancer.
Jada Hackettstown, NJ PD EOW 8/19/2020 Jada suffered a medical emergency while on duty and was rushed to a veterinary clinic, but did not survive. The 5-year old Belgian Malinois had been with the department since 2016 and amassed more than 800 social media fans, numerous apprehensions, and had a special “Stars-n-Stripes” doghouse built by an Iraq War vet.
Aken Seneca County NY Sheriff’s Department (Ret.) EOW 08/05/2020 Seneca K9 Aken passed away just one week into his retirement. The German Shepherd served the county since 2012. In addition to his Law Enforcement work he also was the face of the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office Community Outreach Programs. Aken was originally from Czech Republic and was 9 years old.
Ronja Tacoma, WA PD EOW 8/13/2020 During an exchange of gunfire between officers and a homicide suspect, Ronja was struck by a bullet and killed. She was 2 ½ years old and had started on the Tacoma PD earlier in the year. She was from the Czech Republic.
Dallas Cape Girardeau, MO PD EOW 07/24/2020 K9 Dallas was born Christmas Eve 2014 and joined the Cape Girardeau PD in 2017. His handler says the German Shepherd was just as comfortable putting on demonstrations for local charities as searching for armed suspects. He was recently diagnosed with a fatal condition causing spinal failure which led veterinarians to suggest euthanasia as the only humane solution.
Bo Holbrook, MA PD EOW 7/15/2020 Retired K9 Bo was euthanized after a battle with cancer. The dog was 9 years old. He joined the Holbrook PD in 2013 as their first K9 and served 6 years. Bo was originally from the Netherlands.
King Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office (LA) EOW 7/12/2020 The 7-year old Belgian Malinois suffered complications from heat exhaustion one day after tracking a domestic violence suspect. King received full honors, including a 21-gun salute and TAPS at his memorial. He had been with the department four years.
Oli Muskogee, OK PD EOW 7/1/2020 K9 Oli was found unresponsive in a patrol car following short training track. At this time, there is not a clear cause of death, but there are some indications it may have been heat related. Oli was a 4-year old Belgian Malinois who served with the department since 2018.
Willie Gary, IN PD EOW 07/21/2020 A recent recruit to the Gary Police Department, Willie passed away from a suspected poisoning. A month after the incident police have not released much information about the circumstances surrounding Willie’s death. He was only 17-months old.
Titan Jamestown PA PD EOW 11/22/2020 Titan and his partner were called out to a search for burglary suspects. During the search, the Belgian Malinois fell through an unsecured elevator shaft on the fourth floor and suffered fatal injuries. He had been on the force since 2014.
Kazan Monaca, IL PD (Ret.) EOW 11/18/2020 Kazan was born in Czech Republic and became Monaca’s first k9 officer in 2014. He was diagnosed with cancer a year ago, but had recently taken a turn. He was eight years old.
Diesel Bartholomew Co, IN Sheriff’s Dept. EOW 11/14/2020 Diesel began working with the department in 2016. During a call to help track down a domestic violence suspect, the German Shepherd was released from his leash. He was found unresponsive a short time later. A subsequent necropsy found he had injuries consistent with being struck by a vehicle.
Tonka Sublette County WY Sheriff’s Office EOW 11/2/2020 Tonka was a German Shorthaired Pointer originally from Hungary. She started with the Sheriff’s office in 2018 as a narcotics detection dog. It was recently discovered that Tonka was battling a rare, fatal kidney disease. She was just 3-years old.
Hunter Portland, OR PD (Ret.) EOW 10/29/2020 Hunter came to the K9 Unit from Germany in late 2008. The German Shepherd served eight years and was credited with the captures of 185 criminal suspects. In 2014 he became a member of Portland’s Special Emergency Reaction Team. In 2013 and 2015, Hunter was honored as the Portland Police Bureau’s “K9 of the Year.” Hunter retired in late 2016 and lived out his golden years with his handler and family.
Nitro Bartonville, IL PD EOW 10/23/2020 Nitro started working for the PD in 2013. The Belgian Malinois was the department’s second K9. He had a cancerous tumor removed a year ago, but it had returned in a very aggressive manner according to his partner.
Diesel St. Louis County, MN Sheriff’s Department EOW 10/20/2020 Diesel began with the department in 2014. The German Shepherd originally came from Czech Republic and was one of the first K9s the Northland K9 Foundation helped fund in their first year. He had been off duty for several weeks due to degenerative spinal issues which eventually caused the failure of his back legs. He was just shy of 8-years old.
Oxx Delta County, CO Sheriff’s office (Ret.) EOW 10/19/2020 Oxx started with the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office, then followed his handler to Delta County, racking up awards, helping get drugs off the street and switching gears to visit community members. The Belgian Malinois was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer shortly after retirement. He would have turned 11 in February.
Boomer Harris Co. TX Sheriff’s Dept. (Ret.) EOW 9/15/2020 Boomer passed away one year into retirement. The German Shepherd began working with the department at 2-years old and served for an eight year career. He was nominated for the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards in 2013.
Arko Port Authority of Allegheny County (Ret.) EOW 10/17/2020 Arko served on the force beginning in 2008. The German Shepherd retired just shy of ten years into his service in 2018.
Karma Ogden, UT PD 10/2/2020 Karma originally came from Europe and served with the department for six years. The Belgian Malinois was a dual purpose K9. The department said via social media that Karma had been suffering from a debilitating condition.
Oakley Hubbard County, MN Sheriff’s Dept. (Ret.) EOW 10/6/2020 Oakley had been retired from the force for mere hours when he ruptured his spleen jumping into a vehicle. Upon visiting a vet, they also discovered a tumor and opted for euthanasia. The Belgian Malinois came from Czech Republic and joined the force at two years old. He served for nine years. He was almost 12 at the time of his death.
Ziva Seattle WA PD (Ret.) EOW 10/6/2020 Ziva came from Von Grunheide Kennels in Canada. The German Shepherd joined Seattle PD as their first female K9 in 2010. She racked up more than 5000 calls in her 8 year career before retiring in 2017. She was just shy of 13 years old and was diagnosed with extensive cancer just two days prior to passing away.
Rena Poquoson, VA PD EOW 10/4/2020 Rena passed away suddenly, but in what the department said was unexpected, but natural circumstances. The German Shepherd was 10-years old. She had been with the department for seven years.
Enzo University of Wyoming PD EOW 09/28/2020 Enzo started with University PD in 2012. The German Shepherd was an explosives detection dog who served both the school and other communities in the state. He passed away unexpectedly. He was 10-years old
Gunnar Toms River, NJ (Ret.) EOW 09/27/2020 Gunnar was imported from Europe and began his career in 2013. The German Shepherd retired in January of this year and went to live with his handler. He passed away at home.
Buck South Salt Lake, UT Fire Dept. (Ret.) EOW 09/25/2020 Buck began his career at South Salt Lake City in 2011. He was trained in explosives detection and search and rescue. The yellow lab “retired” in 2018 but remained active in public demonstrations and education of cadets in Utah’s POST academy teaching and demonstrating k9 capabilities.
Yasso Twinsburg, OH PD (Ret.) Yasso joined the force in 2009. The German Shepherd served as a dual purpose K9 until he retired in 2017, gaining internet fame along the way for his love of Starbucks “puppiccinos.” He was 12-years old.
Diesel West Allis, WI PD (Ret.) EOW 09/22/2020 Diesel went to work for the department in 2009. The German Shepherd was a dual purpose K9 deployed nearly 500 times in his career and was named K9 Team of the Year by Wisconsin Law Enforcement in 2014. He retired in 2017. He was 12-years old.
Edo Worcester County, MD (Ret.) EOW 9/22/2020 Edo began his law enforcement career in 2012. He retired in 2019 due to a longtime leg injury. His former handler announced via social media that the German Shepherd was put to rest because on increasing leg and hip pain. He was 11-years old.
Uno Madera, CA PD EOW 9/19/2020 Madera PD announced the death of K9 Uno through social media. The Belgian Malinois was a trained narcotics detection dog and had been with the department for several years.
Blue Lewes, DE PD EOW 9/13/2020 Blue served seven years with the department beginning in 2013. In addition to numerous apprehensions and drug seizures, the Belgian Malinois was a highly visible public presence, attending hundreds of events in the city. He was 9 ½-years old.
Ricco Valley View OH PD EOW 09/11/2020 Ricco suffered a rare medical emergency which caused his intestines to spasm and twist. The German Shepherd passed away during surgery. He was sworn in to the force in February and was only 1.5 years old.
Jimy Ross Township, PA PD EOW 09/09/2020 Jimy passed away after an emergency surgery. The German Shepherd was 4-years old and had been imported from Europe. He had been with the department for three years.
Duke West Jordan, UT PD (Ret.) EOW 09/04/2020 Duke, a Belgian Malinois, retired last year, wrapping up a seven-year career. He is credited with more than one-thousand deployments since starting on the force in 2013. He spent his final months with his former handler.
Rico Richland, MS PD (Ret.) EOW 8/31/2020 Rico served on the Richland PD for six years. The Belgian Malinois is credited with numerous drug busts and apprehensions. He retired in 2018 and had been battling several health issues.
Magnus New Jersey Transit Police EOW 08//2020 Magnus started with New Jersey Transit Police in 2010. The German Shepherd served ten years as an explosives detection dog. He died due to sudden medical complications.
Zulu Darien, CT PD (Ret.) EOW 8/27/2020 Zulu, a 13-year old German Shepherd had been in deteriorating health for some time. Originally from Czech Republic, Zulu joined Darien PD in 2009 as the department’s first K9. He retired in late 2016.
Bella DuPage County, IL Sheriff’s Department EOW 8/25/2020 Bella, the longest serving K9 in the DuPage County Illinois Sheriff’s department, passed away after an extended illness. The Bloodhound worked for the department for 11 years before retiring in April. She was 12-years old.
Eros Boardman, OH PD (Ret.) EOW 8/23/2020 Eros passed away after a brief illness. The Belgian Malinois began with the Boardman PD in 2010 and served with the department until his retirement in 2018. He lived out the rest of his life with his handler and family.
Melee Weatherford, OK PD EOW 8/19/2020 Melee was dual purpose k9, born in St. Louis, Missouri, trained at Torchlight K9 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and credited with countless drug related arrests, the recovery of evidence in several major cases, and the seizure of over $200,000.00 of illicit US currency. The Belgian Malinois was 9-years old and had been battling cancer.
Neo Green Bay, WI PD EOW 8/17/2020 Green Bay PD announced that K9 Neo has passed away. Neo was the longest serving K9 on the force. He was a 12-year old Belgian Malinois who had served for ten years.
Bloo Dekalb County Sheriff’s Department (GA) EOW 8/3/2020 Bloo was shot and killed by a plain clothes officer during a foot pursuit of a rape suspect. Bloo was 3 years old.
Roscoe Anderson County Sheriff’s Office (South Carolina) EOW 8/12/2020 While tracking suspects from a hit and run, K9 Roscoe and a Deputy were ambushed in a Lowe’s parking lot. The handler was not injured. Roscoe was rushed to a veterinary office, but died the following morning. Roscoe was a 3 years old German Shepherd and had served the Anderson County Sheriff’s office for two years.
Sem Cypress, CA PD EOW 7/15/2020 Retired K9 Sem was put to rest this week. The 12-year old German Shepherd retired in 2018 after 8 years on the force with hundreds of seizures and arrests under his collar, including one which nearly cost him his life as he sustained serious injuries taking on a murder suspect in 2015.
Floyd Tupelo, MS PD EOW 8/10/2020 K9 Floyd was found unresponsive in his kennel. As of this writing there has not been a determination as to cause of death. Floyd was a 2-year old Belgian Malinois who started on the force earlier in 2020.