Handler: Trooper Bill Bruce
Orlando District of Troop K
K9 Alie began his career with the Florida Highway
Patrol in August of 1996. K9 Alie and his handler
Trooper Bill Bruce were assigned to the Orlando
District of Troop K (Florida Turnpike). K9 Alie
worked closely with the Metro Drug Unit in Orlando,
one case involved the dismantling of one of the
biggest heroin dealers in the region. Over $650,000
in cash recovered and distribution ready heroin
valued at $1,000,000 was seized. Many other law
enforcement agencies and citizens benefited from K9
Alie's dedicated work as K9 Alie not only hunted
criminals, he provided demonstrations to school
children throughout the Central Florida region.
In 2002, K9 Alie was diagnosed
with prostrate cancer, and after surgery and
treatment was able to return to duty. In March of
2003, Alie retired along with his handler Trooper
Bruce. In 2004, the cancer had returned and in May
of that year K9 Alie passed away. To this day school
children and parents ask about and remember the
beloved K9 Alie.
submitted by Bobby Earl
In Loving Memory of
December 29, 2004
Sgt. Scott Hodson
Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Dept.
2640 Duncan Rd.
Lafayette, IN 47904
(765) 423 9388
Sgt. Scott Hodson was a
K-9 handler from 1992 until 2004. He
was the first handler in Tippecanoe
County and has watched the K-9 team
grow to what it is today — 4
narcotics dogs and 1 bomb dog. Sgt.
Hodson’s latest K-9 partner was a
German Shepherd named Andy. During
Scott and K-9 Andy's years together
on the road they were successful in
making numerous drug finds as well
as tracking felonious subjects.
Scott and K-9 Andy competed in
numerous competitions and walked
away from most of them as winners.
K-9 Andy is retiring and we wanted
to acknowledge his exceptional
service. Scott is still active in
K-9 as the team leader and lead
Scott and K-9 Andy
became well known in Tippecanoe
County as well as every adjoining
county for their relentless pursuit
of the criminal element. It is
with great sadness that I announce
the passing of my K9 partner, Andy.
Over this past Christmas weekend I
had boarded Andy while I was out of
town. I picked him up early Monday
afternoon 12/27. He seemed like
himself, sitting up in the back seat
and barking at everything. He
seemed okay at that time. At about
mid evening Monday he suddenly
looked kind of lost. I was standing
in our kitchen and he was in the
living room with a straight line of
vision to me. He stood up and
started looking around the room and
kind of looked a little panicked.
He spotted me and ran over to me.
Throughout Tuesday 12/28 he seemed
to be okay except he seemed a little
less energetic then usual.
Yesterday 12/29, I saw him at about
10 AM lying down in our hallway. He
was panting noticeably and I had no
idea why. I kept an eye on him and
he seemed okay. He went outside for
his breaks as normal. He'd do his
business and come right back in. At
about mid afternoon I found him
lying in the hallway again and his
breathing was very labored. I
called him to me and he made it up
and toward me but couldn't maintain
his balance and fell down. I rubbed
his muzzle and then put my finger in
his mouth. His gums were ice cold.
I found no obstruction that I could
see in his airway so I have no clue
what was going on. I loaded him up
in the car and headed to the vet.
He walked to my car but I had to
lift him in. When I put him on the
seat he collapsed and couldn't seem
to move. At this time he was still
breathing but with difficulty. At
one point he stood up and turned
around in the seat and then laid
down again. His head flopped down
on the arm rest of the back door and
he moaned a little. His breathing
was still very labored. I got to
Creekside and they brought out a
stretcher. We took him into the
trauma room and he was pretty much
dead weight. Dr. Jackson could not
find a heart beat with a
stethoscope. His tongue was out and
it was clear that he was already
gone. I have no idea what happened
to him and no autopsy will be
performed. He will be cremated and
I will keep him. Anyway, yesterday
was a difficult day. He was a great
partner and while I am grateful for
the 6 years we were together, I will
miss him dearly.
by Dusty Simon & helped by Jim
Cortina, Dir. CPWDA
Loving Memory of
December 16, 2004
Central Jersey Technical Rescue Team
It is with deep
regret to inform you that our team member K9 “Abby”
passed away suddenly on Friday evening
12/16/04. Abby was Marnie Powell’s partner, a
yellow Lab who was recently certified as a
wilderness air scent dog.
Abby came into Marnie’s
life as a foster dog from the Labrador Rescue,
Marnie was volunteering at. Abby worked her way
into Marnie’s heart and home. Marnie recognized
that Abby had what it took to be a Search dog. She
was friendly, outgoing, and loved the game. Abby
lived life at high speed, she played hard, she
worked hard – it was all or nothing with her.
On behalf of the team we have
sent a donation in Abby’s name to the Brookline
Labrador Rescue. Also on behalf of the team, we
extend our sympathy to Marnie for her loss. As a
volunteer SAR dog handler, the time and the effort
that goes into training are extensive, as well as
the cost but there is one thing that can’t be
measured and that is the bond that forms with your
partner. It is invaluable.
Marnie hopefully your memories
will comfort you and know that you and Abby will
meet again at Rainbow Bridge.
We’re all here
In Loving Memory of
Partner: Officer Ginger Robertson
Springfield Police Dept.
321 E. Chestnut Expressway
Springfield, MO 65802
Police say goodbye
to hardworking Argo
animal joins six other police dogs at cemetery
Springfield K-9 police officers carried
the casket for his funeral. Bob
receives the flag that draped the casket of Argo the
service dog from Springfield police officer Phil
Yarnell. Springfield K-9 police officers carried
the casket for his funeral.
Police to mourn
beloved K-9 Argo Argo once found a lost woman who
By Amos Bridges -
Springfield police will bid farewell to one of
their own Monday.
Argo, a German shepherd who began serving with
the department's K-9 unit in 1995, is being put to
sleep. He was taken out of service in 2001 because
of cancer. He was one of the first dogs recruited
into the department's K-9 Unit, formed in 1995 after
several area Rotary clubs donated enough money for
three dogs. In his primary role — sniffing out
drugs and apprehending suspects — Argo had 37 felony
arrests, 45 misdemeanor arrests and 165 drug finds,
said Officer Matt Brown, police spokesman. But his
highly trained nose was also capable of much more.
About four years ago, Argo helped locate a
Springfield woman with Alzheimer's disease. She had
wandered away from her home and had become lost in a
field. "The officers that were looking for her,
family — nobody could find her," Brown said. "We
eventually called K-9 out, and within 20 minutes,
Argo alerted right on her." With the cold winter
weather, Argo's help probably saved the woman's
life, Brown said. "The medical staff that took care
of her said that she wouldn't have lived through the
night, left out in the field." Since his retirement
in 2001, Argo had been living with his handler,
Officer Ginger Robertson. She was unavailable for
comment Friday, Brown said. Argo's demise was
hitting her hard. "She's had the dog for so long,
it's become a member of the family," he said. K-9s
and their handlers are paired early on in their
training, Brown said, and handlers often develop a
deep bond with the dogs, which become pets as well
as partners. "It's more than just a dog to the K-9
handlers." Argo will be buried at 3 p.m. Monday at
the Service Dog's Memorial, at 4500 S. Lone Pine
Argo was buried
at the Service Dogs' Memorial.
Photo, 1999 - By
Ryan Slight - News-Leader
Argo caught dozens of criminals with narcotics or
evading officers during his six years with the
Springfield Police Department. And none can
complain he ever bit, said officers who remembered
the even-tempered German shepherd with an unmatched
enthusiasm. "I just loved to watch my dog work,
whether he was finding a bad guy hiding in a
building or out in the woods, or if he was finding
drugs," Argo's handler and former Springfield police
officer Ginger Robertson said Monday. "I miss him."
She and the German shepherd retired in 2001 and
lived together after Argo experienced a knee injury.
But officers said the dog's spirits were undampened,
even before he recently succumbed to cancer. After
joining the department's K-9 unit in 1995, Argo
racked up 37 felony arrests, 45 misdemeanor arrests
and 165 drug finds. "You can definitely say the
dog's performance was comparable to any police dog
out on the road today," said Phil Yarnell, head
trainer of the Springfield police service dog unit.
Robertson's favorite memory was of the dog's
discovering an elderly woman with Alzheimer's
disease who wandered from home and became lost in a
field about four years ago. "Otherwise, she would
have died that night," she said. Several officers
or supporters of Robertson stared solemnly as Argo's
flag-draped casket was carried to Lakeland Pet
Cemetery. Police canine handlers stoically flanked
a Service Dogs' Memorial as their animals sat in the
grass and wagged their tongues. The department has
six trained dog teams. A distant dog's bark echoed
as "Taps" played on a stereo. Attendees also paused
for Louie Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World,"
which was said to be Argo's favorite song. Argo
will join seven other Springfield police dogs buried
at the site since 2000:
- Kastor - Lucky - Magic
Peacemaker - Preston - Wiko
The canine's casket
and burial were provided free of charge, said
Jeffrey Kicks, Thieme-Shadel-Hicks Funeral Service
Humans could learn admirable traits from Argo —
loyalty, consistency, a strong work ethic and
unconditional love — said Dick Cope of Klingner-Cope
Family Funeral Home, who officiated Argo's service.
submitted by Dispatcher, Dawn Lanham,
DE - Note: Ginger lost K9 Preston, Aug. 7, 2002,
Page 580 in the book,
Loving Memory of
ABARTH (AKA "Bart")
19, 1996 - January 1, 2004
Handler: Officer Kevin Gott
2000 Stevenson Blvd.
Fremont, CA 94537
Ofc. Kevin Gott........ His K-9
partner, "Abarth" died unexpectedly on Jan 1, 2004,
after a battle following stomach tortion,
was the best dog our Department has ever had and was
a great loss for my Officer Kevin Gott and his
immediate family and police family.
Abarth's last shift at work in Dec 2003, was
successful, as he flushed out Auto Burglars just
hours before becoming ill. He underwent hours of
surgery and was expected to beat the
odds....unfortunately he did not.
Abarth (Bart as
we fondly called him), was still a working dog. Even
with tubes and collars, he followed Kevin out to the
curb to go to work, up until the night before he
died. As soon as kevin got dressed in his work pants
and boots, Abarth followed him around the house. It
killed him to be left behind...he was so loyal and
To K-9 ABARTH
no longer a bad guy shall you find,
For now you walk with Jesus and live in our mind.
You lived hard and fast, as your battered badge
Why God needed you in his Kingdon, only he knows.
Thank you for your loyal service, we cannot repay,
We'd have given anything for you to stay.
But, now you live in Heaven, so play, play, play...
We each have an ache in our heart, that just won't
But, we ask that God blesses our family
and FPD each and everyday:
Until we meet again...
by Donna Gott (C)
Community Service Officer/
Crime Scene Specialist/K-9 Mom - wife & mother
Loving Memory of
1999 - June 1, 2003
(Iowa Search & Rescue)
brought Ax home as a 4-month-old pup to be the
mascot for our fire department, as well as a family pet.
Though Ax was my husband's dog, I started training with
him. Ax and I attended our first Iowa Search and Rescue
practice, and we were both hooked! Ax made an excellent
search dog. He loved it, and it's what he lived for.
Ax started having vision problems just over a year
later. We took him to Ames, where he was diagnosed with
juvenile cataracts, so we had to retire him from SAR at
18 months old. Ax dealt really well with his blindness,
doing everything he had done as a sighted dog. He would
do small searches (on leash for fun), slide down the
slide at the park with the kids, and just have a blast.
We had special commands so that he wouldn't do anything
dangerous or run into anything, and most people couldn't
tell he was blind unless I wasn't directing him. Then,
everything was shattered again when he passed away
suddenly on June 1st, 2003. We discovered that Ax didn't
have juvenile cataracts at all. He had a brain anurism
that had been affecting his vision, and he passed away
when it ruptured that morning. He was retired January
Ax, we love you and miss you.
You were an awesome partner and friend. Someday we'll
meet again at the rainbow bridge.
In Loving Memory
Partner-Handler: Officer Lou
Suffern Police Department
61 Washington Avenue
Suffern, NY 10901
K-9 "Aran" joined the Suffern Police
department in 1994. He is partnered up with Officer
Louis Venturini. "Aran" and Lou went through extensive
training to establish the solid bond required of a K-9
K-9 Aran at WTC after
Retired Police Dog Dies -
Suffern, NJ - 4/1/2004
By SUZAN CLARKE
- THE JOURNAL NEWS
Flags flew at half-staff at Suffern Village Hall
yesterday in honor of Aran, the German shepherd who
walked a village Police Department K-9 beat for a
decade. The 14-year-old dog died Tuesday night at
Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus, N.J. He had been
suffering from a degenerative spinal disease, Suffern
Police Detective Craig Long said yesterday. "We are all
saddened by the loss of our beloved canine, Aran," Long
said. "The Suffern police community mourns his death."
Aran was the department's first canine. He joined the
force in 1993 and worked with his handler and partner,
Officer Lou Venturini, until his retirement in July
2003, when K-9 Hero officially took over. Aran's career
had numerous memorable moments, Long said. "He was
responsible for apprehending felons, saving lives,
befriending children in our schools and the DARE
program," Long said. During Aran's first month on the
job, he and Venturini caught a bank robber about 30
minutes after the man ran out of the Marine Midland Bank
in Sloatsburg. Venturini and the then-rookie, Aran
tracked the suspect to his front door where he was
arrested. The dog also frequently assisted other law
enforcement agencies, and searched for missing people
and hidden contraband. He and Venturini and Officer Anne
Cawley, Venturini's wife and the department's backup K-9
officer, searched for survivors at Ground Zero following
the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. Venturini
handpicked Aran from the Sukee Kennel in Warren, Maine.
The dog underwent police training at Orange County
Canine Academy, where he displayed his character and
ability for police work, Long said.
"When he graduated from the K-9 academy, Aran had the
much coveted title of top dog. He came out first in his
class, both he and the handler," Long said. Not only was
he a superb police dog, but he was great with people,
too, Long said. "Aran was an extremely social dog and
was charming and great with the children," he said, "but
when given the command by Officer Venturini, he
automatically switched into the police dog mode and I
think that speaks to the tremendous character of the
animal, as well as the handler, to be able to do that."
On visits to schools, Aran would "stand there and
literally, children could for an hour pet and caress him
and when it came time for a demonstration, they saw the
dog in action and they saw the power the K-9 had in
apprehending somebody," Long added.
The dog had a profound impact on many people's lives,
said Long, adding that the relationship between Aran and
Venturini was unique. "They had a special relationship,
a symbiotic relationship," Long said. "More than just
fellow officers. It was a friendship. It was family."
James Giannettino, Suffern's mayor, agreed. "He did
great, great things for the village of Suffern and the
town of Ramapo and anybody else that needed him,"
Giannettino said of Aran. "Just a super, super police
dog. "I mean, you can't say enough good about him. He
was just a companion to Lou and Ann and all the police,"
Giannettino said. Aran lived with Venturini and Cawley
and their family. Hero also lives with them.
A memorial for Aran will be in May, coinciding with
National Police Week, Long said.
In the Fall of 2003, upon K-9 "Aran's" retirement,
I began working with his new partner, "Hero." Like Aran,
Hero came to the Suffern PD from
Czechoslovakia and was also trained by
the Sukee Kennel in Maine. "Hero" is certified in
patrol, tracking, narcotics detection, search & rescue
and evidence recovery.
Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA
Loving Memory of
January 3, 2004
Partner: Jack Kilrain
Norfolk County Sheriff's
200 West Street
P.O Box 149
Dedham, MA 02027
- Fax: 781-326-1079
On Saturday January 3, 2004, I had
to make the most heartbreaking decision to put my K9 Partner. "AXEL" to sleep
due to cancer. K9 "Axel" was a young 8 years old German shepherd, Dual Purpose
Police Service Dog, (Patrol & Narcotics). As all K9 handlers there is not
enough words to explain the Love, Dedication, Devotion to be a Great K9
MORE ABOUT AXEL
One of the Norfolk County
Sheriff's Department's best officers takes his commands in Czechoslovakian,
prefers to be paid in toys, and wears fur on the hottest days . Lt. Jack
Kilrain and his partner have lived and worked together since 1996. Kilrain is
35. His partner is 56 - in dog years. Kilrain wears his hair short; Axel wears
his long, with some strands of gray showing through. Both are trim and rugged
looking, well-suited to be partners. When they're not on the job, Kilrain and
Axel (also known as "Ax") make their home in Quincy with Kilrain's wife and the
couple's first child, an infant daughter. Axel has accepted the family as his
"pack." Kilrain says, "The dog is part of the family. If you don't have that
bond, it's hard for the K-9 team to work together." A correctional officer for
14 years, Kilrain graduated from Bunker Hill Community College with a degree in
criminal justice. In 1996, he became part of the K-9 Unit at the Norfolk County
Sheriff's Office and Correctional Center in Dedham. He was promoted to
lieutenant in May. The love between the officer and his canine partner is
obvious. The German shepherd from Czechoslovakia was just 17 months old when he
and Kilrain became a team. Together they attended an 18-week program at the
Plymouth County Canine Academy. Training is ongoing. In fact, Kilrain says, "You
have to train the way you work. You keep him healthy. You keep him trained. You
keep him active. These dogs are pretty good until they're 10 years old. You
don't really push it much after 10."
"You have to expose these dogs to certain elements they'll have to work in that
they don't see overseas," Kilrain says, citing as examples the slippery floors
and dark corridors where the dog may have to go on an assignment. Among the most
dangerous of assignments are armed robberies, he says. Kilrain stresses the
importance of the dog's socialization so that the animal will be well-adjusted.
After all, the working police dog is a public-service provider. "These dogs are
very, very sociable," he says. Together, they go through 24-hour a month canine
in-service training. In addition, Kilrain and Axel are United States Police
Canine Association certified. "The care of the dog is each canine officer's
responsibility," Kilrain says. There are three canine teams at the correctional
center, one team to each of three shifts. The other teams in the unit include
Brian Bersani and his dog Lobo, and Vincent Spathanas and his dog Meik. "We are
on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year," says Kilrain.
Like the officers, the canines have bulletproof and stab-resistant vests.
Manufactured by International Armor, the canine vests cost between $850 and
$1,000. According to the Correctional Center's Web site, the vests were made
possible "... by the money-raising efforts of local children sponsored by
Massachusetts Vest-A-Dog, a nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping police
dogs safe." All the K-9 dogs are European imports. They take their commands -
25 to 35 of them - in Czech. The sheriff's office takes care of all the dogs'
expenses, but it is up to the canine officer to make sure the animal is well
cared for. The dogs are kept lean and in shape. Axel's weight ranges between 65
and 70 pounds. He's fed 3 1/2 to 4 cups of dry food once a day, in the morning.
He's allowed to take water 1 1/2 to 2 hours later - no sooner because he could
develop "bloat" if the water swelled up the food. Kilrain likes to keep Axel's
weight between 65 and 68 pounds during the summer. In talking about his work,
Kilrain says, "Our main focus is the jail." Presently, there are 570 inmates.
The correctional center is composed of two areas - the jail side, where they
hold those who are awaiting trial; and the house side, where the others are
serving their sentences. Seven to nine months is the average stay. Those who are
sent to the center have a 2 1/2-year maximum sentence on any one charge. The
center gets people with all the lesser charges - OUI and drug charges, mostly.
"We've had some notorious people," such as abortion clinic killer John Salvi and
Dr. Dirk Greineder, the Wellesley allergist convicted of murdering his wife,
says Public Relations Director David Falcone. On a typical day, Kilrain will
arrive about 20 to 25 minutes before his 3-10:30 p.m. shift. Roll call is from 3
to 3:15, when all assignments are given. Canine Units are assigned only to the
perimeter posts outside. "We inspect each and every vehicle that enters the
secure facility," Kilrain says. And the K-9 Unit keeps track of all visitors.
"It's a mobile patrol. It's always a mobile patrol," says Kilrain. As part of
the daily routine, every single door is checked; the infrared system is checked;
windows are secured. All the K-9s are narcotics-certified, and sometimes, if
there is a suspicion, they'll do searches in the correctional center. Mail
products seem to pose the biggest problem, according to Kilrain. The K-9 Unit is
called upon to support local police departments in searches for missing persons,
drug detection and suspect apprehension. They also do a lot of outreach programs
with children and senior citizens. Drug dealers can be tricky these days.
Kilrain says they'll often try to conceal drugs in hidden compartments in their
vehicles. "The dogs can find the drugs anyway," he says matter-of-factly. "The
dogs will scratch at the area where they think the drug is. Cocaine is tough.
Heroin is the most tough, but Kilrain says a dog's nose is 1,000 to 10,000 times more
sensitive than a human's. "Everything they [the K-9] do is with their nose."
The time it will take for the dog to make a "find" will depend on how much there
is, where it is and how long it's been there. Kilrain says dogs can go through
"nasal fatigue" if they've been working on a find for a long time. Kilrain
leaves a conference room to set up a "find." He's taken half a milliliter of
pseudo cocaine (a synthetic) and has saturated a piece of gauze with it. He
hides it in a locker in a visitor room and brings in Axel. Kilrain says, while
introducing his partner, "This is my boy. This is Ax. He'll do anything to save
my life." When Kilrain puts a certain collar on Axel, the K-9 knows it's time
to look for drugs. He asks the dog, "Where's your gifty?" Kilrain has hidden it
in one of his pockets. The dog gets excited with the mention of the toy, a piece
of PVC tubing with holes cut into it. The "gifty" is the reward he always gets,
in addition to praise, for finding drugs. Getting the "gifty" satisfies Axel's
play drive. Offering a little guidance on where to check for the "drug," Kilrain
says the method of search is low, medium, high - in that order, because "Odor
always falls to the bottom." He can hear the dog's breathing change as he gets
closer to the "hide." Axel scratches at a certain locker door, and it's a score.
Rewarding Axel with the "gifty," Kilrain smiles, and jokes, "He's got his
cigar." The K-9 teams respond to requests by various communities during the
year. For example, a police department may call for aid in apprehending a
suspect. Kilrain mentions an occurrence in October 2000 when the Needham Police
Department asked for the K-9 Unit's assistance. hardest [to sniff out]." An
older woman had been robbed. She got a good description of the suspect. He was
wearing a black sweatshirt and was carrying a pillowcase and a multicolor
flashlight. It was 10 p.m. and dark, and the dog was in unfamiliar territory.
Going from one street to another, through back yards all the way over to Great
Plain Avenue, Axel was on the suspect's trail, finally nailing the suspect at
the train station. After three or four months of investigation, it was
determined that the suspect had committed more than 150 B&Es all over the
Massachusetts and all the way up to New Hampshire. He had been hard to catch
because he would break in at locations that were near public
transportation, making it easy for him to get away quickly. Kilrain says that
was just one of many rewarding investigations. At other times the partners have
been called out to find missing persons, including seniors with Alzheimer's
disease. "Our dogs track step for step [ground tracks], says Kilrain. "Without a
good start, it's hard to establish the track." For instance, someone might say a
suspect went out a certain door, so that will be the starting point of the
investigation. Kilrain mentions that once outside, one hour of
direct sunlight ages a track 10 hours, so it's best to get an early start. With
Norfolk County covering 28 communities, Kilrain says, "It's a ton of work, but
it's the best work that's out there," and mentions that he appreciates Sheriff
Michael G. Bellotti's commitment to the K-9 Unit. Falcone agrees, saying, "The
sheriff's been really supportive of this K-9 Unit. And it's worth it because
these guys do great work. They get called out a lot by local
police departments." When asked about future career aspirations, Kilrain says,
"Right now this is something I've always wanted to do. I'm very happy I have the
opportunity to work with the K-9."
In Loving Memory of
July 23, 2004
Handler: Earshel Philpot
Middletown Police Department
One Donham Place
Middletown, OH 45042
Department has a long history in the area of K-9 handlers. Currently we have
two handlers, Officers Vince Lovejoy and Robin Stone. Their dogs are trained
to track suspects from the scene of a crime, and to find hidden contraband
or drug. Alex became very ill and
died at 10:30 this evening. We were to take him to the vet in the
morning. We had the hole dug today. He was laying on the patio and my
husband went out to make sure he could reach his water and he laid his head
on Earshel's foot and died. We had put him outside earlier today cause he
was peeing where he laid so we knew it was time. So we will bury him
tomorrow with the other two. I'm sad but I'm glad he's not hurting
anymore. He died knowing he was loved.
He served with the Middletown Police
Dept. from 1995-2001 and
will be missed by Earl &
Brenda Philpot, along with many others.
submitted by Officer Philpot