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
January 21, 2007

Handler: Staff Sgt. Toby Struebing 

K-9 Soldier loss saddens 163rd MPs

Policemen gathered outside the Fort Campbell kennels Monday to mourn the loss of a dear comrade. Nine-year-old Sorbon, a patrol narcotics detector dog for the 163rd Military Police Detachment, died Jan. 21 of natural causes. His fellow canines' howls could be heard within the kennel throughout the eulogy during Monday's ceremony. Sorbon worked hard in his seven years at Fort Campbell. He spent two rotations in Iraq, one in Kosovo, and helped seize thousands of dollars worth of narcotics.
"It's important to honor the accomplishments of the dog," said Staff Sgt. Toby Struebing, working dog handler, 163rd MP Detachment. "The dog is held in the same stature as a Soldier." Struebing, who spent three years with Sorbon, described losing the dog as an emotional rollercoaster. It's easy to take the bond with a dog for granted, he said. "I hope he didn't suffer to a great extent and that's he seen off in the best way." Although Sorbon was small for a German Shepard, he was considered to be one of the best-trained dogs at Fort Campbell.
"Sorbon had an unbelievable desire to work and gave 110 percent every single time he did anything without having to be pushed," Struebing said during the tearful eulogy. "He died a Soldier's death, doing what he wanted to and what he loved to do." It was a privilege to watch him work, Struebing said. "He will be missed but not forgotten." This was the first ceremony of its kind on Fort Campbell, according to Sgt. 1st Class Jarrod Zaleski, kennel master, 716th Military Police Battalion.
"We didn't really have a set standard," Struebing said. "I wanted to do this for Sorbon but also lay a guideline we can follow in the future to make sure these dogs are seen off [properly]." "We thought Sorbon would be around a lot longer," said Sgt. William Haynes of the 163rd MP Detachment, Sorbon's final handler. "It was a major shock." Canine handlers from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department, including Deputy Claudia Killebrew, attended the ceremony.
"The canines work harder than most individuals do," Killebrew said. "They're willing to put their life down … they don't have a long life expectancy in the job."
The dogs don't get enough credit for the jobs they do, she said. Approximately 20 working dogs reside at Fort Campbell, all of them with the 163rd MP Detachment. While they are here, working dogs train almost every day. They provide security for a number of law enforcement agencies, on and off post. Throughout their deployments, a dog and its handler can be attached to any unit, providing force protection, perimeter security and psychological deterrence.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
December 31, 2007
Handler: Officer Kedrick Sadler
Oceanside Police Department
3855 Mission Avenue -  ph: 760.433.4900
Oceanside, CA 92054

Police today named the canine and suspect in Monday night's plunge from the Coronado Bridge that killed the dog and left the suspect in serious condition with a collapsed lung. The dog, a six-and-a-half year-old Belgium Malinois named Stryker, had been with the police department more than five years, the past year as a partner of Officer Kedrick Sadler. Funeral arrangements for the dog are pending, Oceanside police Lt. Fred Armijo said. The suspect, 27-year-old Cory Byron of Vista, is being treated at the UCSD Medical Center for a collapsed lung and will be charged with causing the dog's death, driving under the influence and evading police, a California Highway Patrol dispatcher said. Officer Sadler, who assisted in the pursuit, was not available for comment Tuesday. "K9s and their handlers have some pretty significant bonds due to the nature of their jobs," Armijo said. "He needs time to grieve."  The death occurred when Byron stopped his vehicle midspan on the Coronado Bridge after an extended police pursuit early Monday night. Stryker quickly bit the man's arm, wrestling him to the ground, the dispatcher said. Byron is alleged to have then thrust himself to an upright position with Stryker attached to his arm and flung himself and the dog off the bridge at about 7:25 p.m. Monday. San Diego Harbor police later picked up Byron and he was taken to UCSD Medical Center, authorities said. Stryker's body also later was found dead in the harbor. The pursuit began in Oceanside at 6:44 p.m after police suspected the driver was intoxicated and attempted to pull him over on College Boulevard, which caused him to flee. During the pursuit, Byron, driving a GMC pick-up truck, allegedly was involved in a minor hit-and-run crash near Highway 76, authorities said. Highway Patrol officers joined the pursuit southbound on Interstate 5 as the car approached the Coronado Bridge, Landeros said. "We're very sad we've lost an officer dog," Landeros said. "Officer dogs are officers just like any other." update:
Suspect leapt from bridge with canine - By Steve Liewer - UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
Several people left flowers yesterday for 6½-year-old Stryker, the department's most experienced police dog, at a memorial for Oceanside officers who have died in the line of duty. He was in the prime of his career,” said Officer Greg Rainwater, a former handler. “It's a real tragedy.” Stryker, a Belgian Malinois, died on the job about 7:20 p.m. Monday. A drunken-driving suspect whom Stryker had knocked down on the San Diego-Coronado Bridge picked up the 75-pound dog and leapt over the concrete barricade into San Diego Bay. Cory Byron, 27, of Vista somehow survived the 200-foot drop, but Stryker did not. Byron is hospitalized at the University of California San Diego Medical Center with a collapsed lung, a California Highway Patrol spokeswoman said. A Harbor Patrol boat fished both out of the chilly waters. Byron was arrested on suspicion of causing the death of a police dog, evading arrest and driving under the influence of alcohol, the spokeswoman said. Oceanside police said Officer Kedrick Sadler was patrolling with Stryker when he witnessed a traffic accident near Benet Road and state Route 76 about 6:30 p.m. Police say the driver headed south in his GMC pickup on Interstate 5, with Sadler, Carlsbad police and highway patrol officers in pursuit. Less than an hour later, the motorist exited I-5 at the bridge and got out of the truck mid-span. Sadler released Stryker, who police say bit the man and pulled him to the ground. The motorist stood up, grabbed the dog and jumped over the concrete barrier into the bay, the CHP said. It was not clear if the dog had let go of the suspect. Stryker's death greatly upset Sadler, said Rainwater, who trained the dog for about six months when it joined the force in 2003. Officers spend about 10 hours per day working with their canine partners. “You spend more time with the dog than you do your family,” Rainwater said. “Every day you're with that dog, the bond gets stronger.”  update: Service 1/14/08 
The Oceanside Police department would like to thank everyone in support of Stryker; the Police K9 that was killed after a drunken man jumped off the Coronado Bridge and took Stryker with him. The police department has set up a memorial fund in memory of Stryker. If you wish to send donations you can simply send a check made payable to the City of Oceanside with "K9 Fund" referenced in the memo section. The donations can be brought to the Police Department or mailed to:
Oceanside Police Department
Attention: Lt. Fred Armijo
3855 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, CA 92054
A memorial service will be held for Stryker on Monday, January 14, 2008 at 11:30 a.m.
The ceremony is opened to the public

Video -

Video -
An emotional service was held Monday at Camp Pendleton, where SoCal police dogs and their handlers gathered to say goodbye to Stryker, an Oceanside police dog killed in the line of duty. Many of the people who turned out support the Oceanside Police Department, while others were simply animal lovers who came out to pay their respects. Stryker, a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois, had been with the force for five years and had several different handlers. The last person he was paired with was Officer Kedrick Sadler. He said he lost a family member when Stryker died. "I'm still hurting inside," Sadler said. "But I plan on moving on, and I'm doing the best I can without Stryker." Stryker was killed on New Year's Eve in a fall from the Coronado Bridge following a police pursuit. The man accused of leading authorities on that chase, Cory Byron, 27, of Vista, jumped from the bridge, allegedly grabbing the dog as the K-9 attempted to take him down. Byron is charged with two felonies, reckless evading police officers and cruelty to animals, in connection with the death of Stryker. 
He also is charged with driving under the influence, according to prosecutors. Byron is being held on $1 million bail. Stryker died on impact, following the 200-foot fall. Byron survived, suffering a collapsed lung. Oceanside police have established a fund they said will be used to support the K-9 program, in Stryker's honor. Anyone wishing to contribute can simply send a check made payable to the City of Oceanside with "K-9 Fund" referenced in the memo section. The donations can also be brought to the police department. 
submitted by Renee' Konias & Jim Cortina


Bridge jumper who killed police dog draws prison term

3:27 p.m. February 18, 2009

VISTA – A man who took an Oceanside police dog to his death when he fell from the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in 2007 was sentenced Wednesday to three years, eight months in prison. Cory Nathaniel Byron of Vista pleaded guilty in Superior Court last September to a felony charge of driving under influence and evading police. Before learning his fate, a remorseful Byron said he had been drinking that day and decided to end his life. He told Judge Joel Pressman he was focused on jumping off the bridge and didn't realize the dog fell with him. “I've learned from my mistakes, I believe,” Byron, 28, told the court. Oceanside police officer Kedrick Sadler spotted Byron's pickup weaving through traffic on state Route 76 on Dec. 31, 2007. When Sadler tried to pull him over, Byron refused to yield. The pickup struck another vehicle on SR-76, injuring three women. Byron continued to Interstate 5, heading south into San Diego and ultimately onto the bridge, with Sadler still in pursuit. When Byron stopped and got out of the truck on the bridge at mid-span, Sadler released his canine partner, Stryker, who knocked Byron down. Byron got up and climbed onto the rail as Stryker went after him again. Both tumbled over the side and fell into San Diego Bay, some 200 feet below. He survived the fall and was plucked from the bay by Harbor Police. Stryker was killed. Defense attorney Anthony Solare said his client never meant to harm the dog and only learned after the incident that Stryker had fallen off the bridge along with him. Byron, who has been in jail since the fall, could be released as early as the end of 2009. submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
December 20, 2007
Handler:  Officer DaveScudder
Greensburg Police Department
107 S Broadway St
Greensburg, Indiana 47240

Like any partner, friend or companion, Scudder keeps his memory of Shaq close to his badge, and his heart. When he was laid to rest, there was no 21 gun salute. There was no escorted funeral procession; no folded flags or medals of honor. It was a quiet graveside service in the country, with just family by his side. When he was laid to rest, there was no 21 gun salute. There was no escorted funeral procession; no folded flags or medals of honor. It wasn’t the usual send-off for a local officer of the law, but Shaq was not a typical officer. He was a retired K-9 unit but was as important as any human on the beat, according to his owner, partner and former handler Greensburg Police Officer Dave Scudder. “He was a big part of my life. My son is 11 and I’ve had Shaq for 10 years. He’s like one of my kids,” Scudder said. Shaq, a 12 year-old black Labrador retriever, was humanely euthanized last week after enduring two years of violent seizures and degrading health, Scudder said. He was the longest-serving K-9 in county history, according to Scudder, and sniffed out countless amounts of drugs and assisted in more than 100 arrests. The death of Shaq was not overlooked by the department either. Police Chief Bill Meyerrose noted the dog had done more than his share of work during his tenure. “He got a lot of drugs off the street. He was good at sniffing out the stuff and led us on many great, successful searches,” Meyerrose recalled. Shaq’s story is one many law officers might tell of their partners. Scudder and Shaq met up when they joined the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. When Scudder joined the GPD, a few years later, Shaq came with him. They spent every shift together, sharing in the thrill of the job and watching out for each other’s safety. Unlike other partners, however, when the cruiser was parked for the day, the two went home together. It was there, the two worked together to become better at their jobs. “I’d stash drugs in the kitchen cupboards and watch him to see how he would react,” Scudder said. “He’d sniff out food and his mouth would water. When he found the drugs, he’d breathe in real deep. That’s how I learned to tell the difference.”  He was unique, Scudder said. Typically, police dogs are German shepherds. Shaq was chosen because the Labrador breeds have an extremely keen sense of smell. He was trained as an aggressive alert dog, which means he would scratch and sniff when he hit on an illegal substance. Scudder said Shaq was astute at sniffing out marijuana, meth, cocaine, hash and heroin. Scudder said Shaq had become so proficient at his job the K-9 search received a new moniker: A Shaq Attack. He said units all over the county, as well as the region, often sought the expertise of Shaq’s nose in drug searches. “It was nothing for dispatch to wake me up at two in the morning to go to Dearborn or Franklin counties for a search,” Scudder said. Over time, Shaq wore down. As he got older, Scudder decided it was time to pull him off the streets. Shaq was retired from service in 2006 and, instead of being turned out to a shelter or rescue farm like many old police dogs; Scudder brought him home. The dog’s health deteriorated over the last year and, recently, Shaq was suffering from at least 12 seizures a day. Last week, Scudder stood in the vet’s office and heard the bad news. “The vet told me his health would never improve. It would continue to get worse and his quality of life would never be the same,” Scudder said. He and his wife were planning a weekend getaway in Tennessee . He said he was going to call it off but the doctor suggested he enjoy himself and try to forget. While Scudder was gone, he had the doctor euthanize Shaq to save the dog any more pain. When Scudder and his wife returned Monday, the absence was immediately apparent. “When I came home from the weekend, he didn’t greet me at the door. I just broke down. I’m not too proud to admit it. Imagine what it would be like to lose one of your kids. It just tears you up,” Scudder said. The Scudders console themselves with the fact Shaq served local law enforcement faithfully and valiantly during his time on the force.  Thursday, Shaq was laid to rest on a quiet piece of land owned by Scudder’s parents. In the grave with his fallen partner, Scudder placed two police patches and dog tags with Shaq’s name and years of service. The badge Shaq worn around his neck, he kept as a keepsake. “Part of me went with him,” Scudder said. “I doubt there’ll ever be another one like him on the force.” submitted by Jim Cortina

In Loving Memory of
December  2007

Handler:  Officer George Potts
Sept. 29, 1995 - Dec.11, 2007
New London Police Department
5 Governor Winthrop Blvd
New London, CT 06320
(860) 447-5282

Sequoia Has Fallen, And No One Can Hear His Bark  12/22/07
A GIANT SEQUOIA FELL LAST WEEK. Sequoia was a 12-year-old German shepherd who held a full-time job for seven years. He was New London police Officer George Potts' family pet for nearly three years before he started earning his keep as a police canine. Sequoia retired in September 2004. Billy Nott was the department's canine training instructor. In fact, he owned Sequoia for a couple of weeks before he turned the puppy over to his good friend Potts. “He was a great dog,” said Nott, now an officer in Ledyard. “They made a lot of finds.” He called Sequoia a couch potato trained to sniff out bad guys and lost babies. “It wasn't easy,” Nott said. “Several times George threw the leash in the air and said 'I quit.' It was about getting George to be patient. Dogs learn by repetition. Of course they worked it all out.” Potts had Sequoia before he had a family, but surely his wife, Monica, and children Cole, Carley and Cayley will miss the dog just as much. Monica Potts bought “Dog Heaven,” a book that helps kids deal with the loss of a pet. George Potts said Sequoia suffered from degenerative myelopathy, a progressive neurological disease that often affects the spinal cord in German shepherds. It is marked by a general reduction in mobility starting in the rear of the dog. It is usually associated with dogs over 7 years old. “It started early in the summer,” Potts said. “Then it just kept getting progressively worse. His last week he couldn't get up, couldn't walk.” Potts said he wished for the dog to survive the holidays, for the sake of the children. But then, he said, perhaps this was best.  The kids' preoccupation with Christmas might help to soften the loss. “I'm sure it's hardest on me. I actually had him longer than my family,” he said. “He's the first dog I ever raised on my own.” I wrote about Sequoia in 2004 when he was relieved of duty. What follows is from that column, and offers a glimpse of what kind of dog Sequoia was, on the job and off. He was just a huge, easy-going puppy. ... He had never been on a leash and wasn't trained to obey commands such as “sit,” “stay” or “heel.” ... Sequoia took a lot of training, but he ended up being what Nott would call a diamond in the rough, Potts said. Sequoia remained a teddy bear of a puppy dog, but he learned to be a grizzly bear of a police dog. “It's funny,” Potts said. “Some of the guys who are petrified of him when he's in my car have to practically step over him to get in the house when they come by. He just lies there.” Potts recalled two incidents that properly described his late, great partner.  In one, Potts and Sequoia were chasing a man who was known to be tough. ... “This guy was so tough that, one time, he got stabbed and drove himself to the hospital with the knife still in his back,” Potts said. “It was so deep the doctor had to sit on him to pull it out.” “One night Sequoia was chasing him. It was the first time he was out of my sight on a job,” Potts said. “When I came around the corner, the guy had Sequoia in a headlock and was punching him. “I tackled the guy and we fought, but it took six cops to get him in cuffs. Sequoia tore off all of the guy's clothes. When he had the guy's jeans in his mouth, they came off and Sequoia fell back like somebody let go of a rope in a tug-of-war. But he jumped right back into the fray. It was a tough fight, all elbows and knees, but Sequoia didn't bite one officer.”  Another time, Potts was called to help look for a missing child in Waterford. The family and police had searched all through the house and the neighborhood for the infant. “They emptied cabinets and everything. They were about to start checking the (nearby Niantic) river. Well, I told (Waterford police) I didn't want to offend them, but I wanted to check the house again. We were there less than 30 seconds, and Sequoia starts barking at the couch. I looked under it, and there's the little boy, sound asleep. ... To me, that was the most satisfying thing he ever did.”  Dog Heaven. It's not just for kids.  submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
 1 Oct. 1997 ~ 19 Dec. 2007 

Handler: "Marty " Officer J. H. Martinez
Chicago Police Department
3510 S. Michigan, 
Chicago, IL 60653 
Tel# 312-746-7180

Thank you so much for wanting to memorialize my Sony. He was a wonderful GSD. His devotion to duty and to his family was impeccable. I will miss him very much. Sony was a retired full service K-9 at the time of his death. He worked for the Chicago Police Department from 1999 to 2006. As far as a good story, why don't you use the one I sent you for your second book, it's a great story you published about Sony. It was funny, and dangerous at the same time.  thanks again. Marty
I have my hands full with Rocky, my wife calls him the energizer bunny. He is my new K-9 partner. Sony had been retired since 2006, I have had Rocky since then. Marty 
Sony is on the left and Rocky, my present K9 is on the right.

In Loving Memory of
January 1994 – September 7, 2007

Handler: Officer Kevin Wright # 511
 Markham Illinois Police Department
  16313 S. Kedzie Parkway - (708)331-2171 
 Markham, IL

Sammie located a firearm used in an attempted murder. The firearm was thrown into a heavily overgrown  wooded area the day before. We were not working that day. The next day we conducted the search. After officers attempted to look for the weapon.   The weapon was in the field for over 18 hours before Sammie and I were called to search for it. Sammie located the weapon within 4 minutes of starting the search. USPCA award.  Countless weights of cocaine, cannabis. Which led to arrests and convictions
“Sammie and I met one day in September of 94. I was choosing a canine partner for our police department. Well I was chosen by Sammie. We met and played and really hit it off. We went through training and Sammie became a dual purpose dog, patrol and narcotics work. Sammie became a stellar police dog, catching many suspects and recovering a lot of narcotics. The real story of Sammie is how she could be a police dog and come home and just be a ‘FAMILY dog’ rolling around with children, never once showing any aggression to anyone in the family. Sammie provided many hours of companionship to us. Sammie retired and then just became a pet. She loved rolling in the snow and fighting the snow as it was shot out of the snow blower. In the warm months she enjoyed rolling in the grass under a hot sun. After that she would nestle in the house with the family, whether playing with the kids or with Jake and Timber. Many times I recall ‘breaking up’ the dogs as they got a little too rowdy. Sammie was remarkable, when we obtained Jake (see his memorial). Sammie seemed to know that he did not even know how to play. Sammie taught him and played tug -o- war many days in the yard with Jake. Jake and Sammie had a wonderful trusting bond. Jake trusted Sammie with everything. Sammie helped protect Jake from Timber. They got along, but Timber was always ready to take advantage. Sammie got older and a couple of years ago she developed a tumor. The tumor was not a cancer, but the location was a risky operation for Sammie. Sammie continued with us without surgery. Eventually Sammie began to enjoy life less and less. Old age was catching up to my partner. Her determination and spirit were there it just got lost from the mind to the body. This summer the tumor grew very quickly and Sammie was getting to the point she could no longer walk or eat. She would walk and eat for me, but no one else. In early September Sammie began to collapse under her own weight and was barely walking and eating. She collapsed in the hall and those brown eyes looked at me as to say ‘Why are you making me do this, I will do it for you, I hurt and I am tired.’ I knew I would have to let my friend go. It was one of the hardest things I have had to do. Sammie ran to the Rainbow Bridge being meet by Jake and Stormie (our cat). No longer in pain or in suffering she became the dog we want to remember. She passed from my (our) loving arms, to the arms of God. Sammie, Jake, Stormie till we all meet again. We love and miss you. Kevin and Cheri.” 

In Loving Memory of
November 5, 2007

Handler: Richard Boyles
Greenville County and Greenville-
Spartanburg International Airport

A retired police dog died from smoke inhalation Monday afternoon during a house fire in Greer. Tyger River Fire Chief Jim Redd said firefighters were called to the scene of the blaze, 216 Milky Way Drive, at 12:14 p.m. and found a back family room and attic in flames. No one was home at the time other than the dog, a black Labrador retriever named Sergeant. Retired officer Richard Boyles, who lived at the home with his wife, Arlene, had left the house that morning to go shopping, Redd said. A mail carrier reported the fire. The house was a total loss, and firefighters found Sergeant lying inside by the home's front door. Boyles formerly worked as an officer with the city of Mauldin, Greenville County and Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, Redd said. Sergeant, he said, was well-trained and could even let himself out of the house by opening and closing a sliding glass door. But that door was locked at the time of the fire because the owners were not home, Redd said. Greer city firefighters assisted in the fire response and investigation. The fire began in the family room, but a cause has not been determined. 
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
September 5, 2007

Handler: Russell Cornelison

Fresno Police Department
2323 Mariposa Mall
Fresno, California 93721
"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. 
You are his life, his love, his leader. 
He will be yours, faithful and true to the last beat of his heart.
You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." 
~author unknown~
Beloved police dog Saxon, 9 1/2, dies at officer's home - Belgian Malinois awarded medal after he was shot in 2002 incident while on duty. Saxon the police dog -- who survived a shooting in 2002 -- died Wednesday morning in the home of his longtime handler. The retired K-9 dog, a 91/2-year-old Belgian Malinois, worked for the Fresno Police Department for about three years before he was shot in the line of duty. On Aug. 22, 2002, Saxon and three officers went to the home of John Albert Majchen after hearing reports that he was firing his gun and playing loud music. When officers arrived, Majchen ran from his house and then tried to run back inside, officers testified in court. K-9 officer Russell Cornelison released Saxon, who latched onto Majchen's right leg. Majchen allegedly fired two shots from a shotgun at officers and at Saxon. The blasts ripped through Saxon's chest and punctured one of his lungs and an ear. He suffered pellet wounds to two legs. Majchen died in police custody of Wegener's granulomatosis, an inflammation of arteries, at age 51 before standing trial. The Police Department awarded Cornelison its Medal of Merit with Valor for saving Saxon's life. He removed Saxon from Majchen's front porch and ensured that the dog received immediate medical aid. Saxon was also awarded a commendation medal by Police Chief Jerry Dyer at the department's 2002 awards ceremony. "Saxon's actions were directly responsible for saving the life of at least one officer," Dyer said at the event. Saxon went through extensive leg surgery, but he walked with a limp for the rest of his life, said Jeff Cardinale, spokesman for the Fresno Police Department. "It's uncertain if his death had anything to do with the injuries sustained in the shooting," Cardinale said. Saxon lived with Cornelison at his home until his death Wednesday. Cornelison declined to comment. The Police Department is planning funeral services for Saxon, but no arrangements have been finalize.
update on K9 Unit
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer is proud to announce the latest additions to the Fresno Police Department, as two new K9 officers, Kubo and Elvis will be sworn into duty.  K9 Kubo is half Czechoslovakian Malinois, half German Shepherd. Kubo's handler is Geoff Tushnet.  K9 Elvis is a Malinois and his handler is Officer Jesus Cerda.  The swearing-in ceremony will take place Wednesday, April 4th, 2007 at 4:00 pm at the K9 Training Facility located at Dakota and Sierra Vista Avenues. A tribute to past and present K9 partners, a live demonstration, and interviews with the new K9 handlers will be available.  The swearing-in of Kubo and Elvis brings the Fresno Police Department's K9 Unit up to 14 dogs and handlers.  Please contact Public Information Officer Jeff Cardinale at 621-2486 or 978-9687 (cell) for more information. 
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
August 1, 2007
Handler: Officer Elizabeth McNeil
Decatur Police Department 
402 Lee Street NE
Decatur, AL 35601
(256) 341-4600 
Decatur’s first police dog buried with his badge at training center
Sam, the Decatur Police Department's first police dog, during a May 1996 training session. 
He was a police officer without a last name, but he left a lasting impression on those who work to rid Decatur of illegal drugs. Sam, the city’s first police dog, died Wednesday when veterinarian Dr. Michael Newman euthanized him. The lab/shepherd mix had suffered from hip dysplasia, a condition that forced his retirement in February 2001. By Wednesday, the 12-year-old dog was no longer able to stand or walk. “The most valuable role Sam provided at Decatur PD was he was somebody’s partner,” said Lt. Frank DeButy, who worked with Sam on drug investigations. “Second of all, he was an invaluable tool in locating controlled substances. He had an ability none of us had. And to top it off, he was a friend.” Sam started in the summer of 1996, working with officer Elizabeth McNeil. He marked her fourth attempt to train a police dog. The first three failed to display the work attitudes and drive needed to be successful drug sniffers. “He could find things we could never find,” DeButy said. “A lot of times, he found stuff we never would have guessed was there, like hidden compartments in cars.” One of the benefits of drug-sniffing dogs is when they sense illegal drugs, they go on alert. This gives officers probable cause to search a car or structure without a warrant. "He knew when to work and he was all business," DeButy said. "But when he wasn't working, he was your buddy, to everybody." McNeil cared for Sam at her home after his retirement. Decatur police now use Brew, a lab mix. About 10 officers attended a funeral for Sam on Thursday morning. The department dedicated a portion of the police training center at Flint as the official canine cemetery. They buried him with his badge — just like a human officer, DeButy said.

submitted by Jim Cortina & Elizabeth McNeil

In Loving Memory of
July 30, 2007

Handler:  Alice Hanan
Maryland National Capital Park Police Department
6700 Riverdale Road, Riverdale, Maryland 20737
Information: 301-459-9091; TTY 301-459-3051
Non-Emergency: 301-459-9088
Emergency: 301-459-3232

Today, July 30th, I had K9 Stryker (retired) euthanized. He was an incredible K9 partner and I am honored and thankful for our time together. He had the best life possible for a dog and I am pretty sure he knew that. Thanks to everyone who helped us along the way. Good dog Stryker, good dog. Alice Hanan, an officer with the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, trains in the woods in Sandy Spring with her cadaver dog, Styker who smells a box containing a dead squirrel before moving on.
Canine Operations
The Park recently implemented a Canine (K-9) Patrol as a complement to the Patrol Services Unit. There are currently two Canine teams. Officer Bussey and Officer Gormley and their canine partners "Bolo" and "Smokey" endured a very intense training course and have been applying their skills to the benefit of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the residents and citizens of Prince George's County. The canine teams are used to conduct searches for evidence, narcotics and people. When not engaged in canine operations the teams perform patrol duties.

My dog's love is unconditional
his loyalty pure and true
As for what I've done
to deserve such a friend
Oh, Lord, I wish I knew
®John Lawson 1996 
Stryker's awards:
    * 1998 VFW Officer of the Year for Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties
    * 1999 Maryland National Capital Park Police K9 Officer of the Year
    * 2000 Maryland National Capital Park Police K9 Officer of the Year
    * 2001 Maryland National Capital Park Police K9 Officer of the Year
    * 2002 Maryland National Capital Park Police K9 Officer of the Year
    * 2001 Maryland Governor's Crime Prevention Award
    * 2002 Montgomery County Public Safety Community Service Award
Update submitted by Jim Cortina
Montgomery Park Police Mourns Loss of Special Police Dog; Stryker Participated in 9-11 Recovery at Pentagon
One of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s most beloved K9 workers died July 30 after a career marked by close to 900 crime-fighting and emergency rescue operations. Stryker, who served the M-NCPPC Park Police, Montgomery County Division, from 1997 until his retirement in 2004, had worked all over the mid-Atlantic, including the Pentagon following the 9-11 plane crash. There, Stryker, working with his handler, Park Police Officer Alice Hanan, made 108 finds in the disaster’s aftermath. “Stryker was an incredible K9 partner and I am honored and thankful for our time together,” Hanan said. “He had the best life possible for a dog and I am pretty sure he knew that. Thanks to everyone who helped us along the way.” Stryker, one of four former K9 members of the Park Police’s Montgomery County division, had been trained in obedience, agility, tracking, trailing, and search and rescue. His partnership with Hanan is considered one of the commission’s most effective. The dog participated in investigations leading to 113 narcotics arrests totaling $152,923 in value of drugs seized. He also was credited with helping find two missing persons and took part in more than 100 public demonstrations. From Vermont to South Carolina, Stryker assisted in several high-profile cases such as missing persons Michelle Dorr, Susan Stottmeister and Chandra Levy; the 9-11 attack on the Pentagon, a high-profile gas tanker accident on I-95 and the water taxi accident in Baltimore Harbor in 2004. In addition to being named the Park Police K9 team of the year four years in a row – from 1999 to 2002 – Stryker and Hanan received numerous other accolades and commendations. 

In Loving Memory of
January 11, 2007

Handler:  Diane Dosal
Gallup Police Department
451 State Road 564
Gallup, New Mexico 87301
Non-emergency: (505)863-9365
Gallup, New Mexico

$12 million cop dog will be remembered - Andrea Egger Staff Writer
A Gallup Police officer died in early January with little fanfare. Officer Spade, a German Malinois, was a certified police officer with his own badge. His handler, Cpl. D. Dosal, said Tuesday that Spade had to be put to sleep at Cedar Animal Hospital Jan. 11. Spade had a rectal tumor that began growing, although veterinarians at first told Dosal they didn't think it would grow. A week before she took the 7-year-old dog back to the vet, he stopped eating and wasn't listening to or obeying his commands. The vet told Dosal that he was going to suffer with the tumor and should be euthanized. "It was the hardest thing I ever had to go through in my career," Dosal said, adding it was more difficult than handling homicide cases, gruesome fatal crashes and other types of cases she's worked on. Although she didn't consider herself an animal person, Dosal said she still became attached to the large, intimidating dog during her three years working with him. "It really is true, they become your best friend," Dosal said. She felt that Spade's career should be highlighted. "A regular officer who served three years, he would be recognized," she said. "He (Spade) protected and served for three years." Dosal and Spade became local heroes more than a year ago when they uncovered 320 pounds of a mixture of methamphetamine and cocaine at the Port of Entry between Arizona and New Mexico. The duo were called to the port because a Department of Transportation officer needed someone to translate Spanish. Dosal spoke to the driver for a while and thought of asking him to let Spade search the semi, more as a training exercise for Spade than anything else. "He was just not making sense," and his logs didn't match his statements, she said of the driver. The man was very cooperative and agreed to have the dog walk around the truck. Spade indicated to Dosal that he sensed drugs in the passenger side, in the sleeper area of the truck. She told the Department of Transportation officer and the driver that the dog was alerted to something in that area. She and the Department of Transportation officer began searching the sleeper compartment. They took the bed apart and found a handmade wooden box placed inside the box spring. Inside the box were 20 bricks of a drug they thought was probably methamphetamine. The officers were excited — that was probably about $3 million in street value. But that wasn't all. Dosal and the other officer took the bricks out of the box and found 20 more bricks underneath with more bricks underneath those. "We just started taking them out," Dosal said. They learned later it was $12 million street value in a mixture of methamphetamines and cocaine. "It was a good hidden compartment. It looked like it was part of the bed," Dosal said. Spade came already trained from Germany and all of his commands were in German, she said. Dosal had to spend three 50-hour weeks training with Spade to learn the commands and to get Spade familiar with her. After they began working the streets together, she and Spade went on drug searches at the high school and on building searches for the police department. He was considered a multi-purpose dog, used for patrol and narcotics. "He was a talented dog. He could do anything," Dosal said. In most of their training, Spade was the largest dog and Dosal was the smallest officer. "He looked intimidating but he was probably the nicest dog you'd ever meet. He was calm," Dosal said. She said she met only one other female officer working as a canine handler during her various training sessions in the country. The other female officer worked at a department in Colorado. Dosal first became a canine officer after her brother, Gallup Police Sgt. Gabe Cebada, began running the program for the department. Cebada recently returned back to duty after his police dog, Bosco, attacked him while they trained July 1. Cebada had to have several surgeries to his hand and almost lost a finger. Bosco is now working with another department. Cebada is working with a new patrol dog named Rocky. Other Gallup Police canine officers include Cpl. Andy Yearley, who works with K-9 Officer Tater, and Officer Donald Howard and his patrol dog, Ufo. Each of the officers had to pay for their own dogs, although the department paid for the training. Dosal paid $3,500 for Spade. Sometimes people remark that it seems cruel to work the dogs, but Dosal has found that the canines get "upset and restless" if they aren't training or being worked constantly. While K-9 officer handlers get attached to the animals, they are trained to understand one of the sad purposes for the police dogs, that their main purpose is to take the bullet for their partner, if need be. "If it's a situation where it's you or your dog, you send in the dog," Dosal said. Police dogs are on diets and can't gain more than a set amount of weight. Because of all the training, they are usually very muscular dogs, as was Spade. A website for deceased police dogs on the internet provides cards with information about the dog, similar to cards distributed at funerals. The information Dosal provided about Spade will remain on their website for a long time. Dosal expressed appreciation for Cedar Animal clinic for their caring, especially Dr. Jessica Balok, who also became attached to Spade. Not even an hour after Spade died, the clinic sent Dosal flowers. "I'll never forget that," Dosal said.
submitted by Lt. Gabe Cebada

In Loving Memory of
July 9, 2007

Handler: Sgt. Jim Bauerly 
Woodbury County Sheriff's Office
407 7th St.
Sioux City, IA 51101 
Phone: 712-279-6010
Gregory T. Logan, Chief Deputy

Woodbury Co. Sheriff's K-9 dog Sipo dies 
A K-9 dog with the Woodbury County Sheriff's Office has died. Sipo, an eight-year-old German shephard, was handled by Sgt. Jim Bauerly before he died Monday. After being certified by the U.S. Police Canine Association, Sipo began serving the sheriff's office in August 2000. He was an award-winning K-9 for his work in locating missing suicidal persons and armed suspects, the sheriff's office reported Wednesday. "I've been partnered with three canines throughout my career," said Bauerly. "Sipo was by far the best of the three." The sheriff's office now has five canines. Sipo's death has been hard on Bauerly, because the dog saved his life in April 2003. "Had Sipo not located the suspect, who was armed...the outcome could have been a lot different," Bauerly said.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
 June 11,2007

Handler: Officer Andrew Jeleniewski
Yorkville Police Department
804 Game Farm Rd. 
(630) 553-8541  Direct:  630-553-8502 - Fax:  630-553-1141
Yorkville, IL 60560
E-Mail: Molly Batterson, Executive Assistant -
South Holland Police Dept. - Cook County Sheriff's Dept.

We recently lost a second K9. This one was a Black and Tan German Shepard by the name of “Sammy.” Sammy’s partner was Officer Andrew Jeleniewski. Officer Jeleniewski and K9 Sammy began there career together at the Cook County Sheriffs Department in 2001. They worked together there until 2002 where they then left and went to South Holland Police Department. They stayed there until 2004 before coming to the Yorkville Police Department. Sammy retired from duty in January of 2007. I will try to get some additional information about his career and accomplishments, if you would like. He had quite a span of different locations of employment so it will take me a bit to get it all. He was a great dog who was really mild mannered and loved playing with kids and cops. I have attached a picture of K9 Sammy and Officer Jeleniewski. Thank you much. You did a wonderful job with the memorial for our last dog, K9 Jumbo.  submitted by:  Sergeant Dave Delaney & Molly Batterson
Yorkville Police Department