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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.