Archive for the retired dogs Category

R.I.P.: Roy, the Petaluma police dog

Posted in fallen dogs, police dog teams, police dogs, retired dogs with tags , , , , , on April 19, 2009 by wardogmarine

By RANDI ROSSMANN
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Petaluma’s acclaimed police dog, Roy, died last weekend, leaving a legacy of city service and a reputation as an award-winning law enforcement canine.

The 14-year-old Belgian Malinois “retired” from service in January 2007 after eight years and continued living with his handler, Officer Paul Accornero.
petaluma-police-dog
PETALUMA POLICE DEPARTMENT
Petaluma’s acclaimed police dog, Roy, died last weekend.

The death has been a blow to officers, said Sgt. Mark Hunter, who supervises the department’s two dog teams.

“It’s a part of your family and it’s a co-worker,” Hunter said. “It’s a great loss for us all.”

The police department bought Roy in spring 1999 and Accornero trained him for narcotics work, patrol duty and countless good-will sessions at schools and community gatherings.

Roy was a friendly police ambassador but also a serious tracker of lost people, hiding suspects and stashed narcotics. Officers appreciated the extra protection he offered.

Hunter said Roy helped arrest more than 120 suspects and seize more than $313,000 in illegal drugs and $155,000 in drug money.

Roy also built an impressive reputation in police dog competitions. He earned 103 awards over the years, including several “Top Dog” awards at California competitions. He and Accornero won gold medals in the 2001 World Police and Fire Games in Indiana, the 2001 California Police Summer Games and the 2004 California Police Summer Games, Hunter said.

In his final year working for the department, Roy won the “Top Dog” award in the narcotics division in the 2006 trial season competition for the Western States Police Canine Association.

“He was not just known on a local level. He was very well known throughout the (law enforcement) canine community,” Hunter said.

Petaluma currently has two police dogs, Rico and Kilo. They are two of about 20 police dogs working in Sonoma County.

Article found here: The Press Democrat

UMass Amherst Police retire their Four-Legged Friends

Posted in retired dogs with tags , , , , , , , on April 14, 2009 by wardogmarine

K9 unit members Max, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois and Dutch shepherd mix, and Kaila, a 9-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever, are officially off-duty after a combined seven years of service with the UMass Police Department. Newcomer Bosco is joining the force to follow in his predecessors paw-steps.

Navy Brass Salutes One of Kitsap’s Top Dogs

Posted in Navy dog teams, retired dogs with tags , , , , , , , on April 14, 2009 by wardogmarine

— After 11 years of sniffing out drugs and patrolling Naval Base Kitsap, Benny the military working dog is retiring to an Illinois horse ranch.

The 12-year-old German shepherd received a farewell salute — and several treats — during a sunny retirement ceremony Tuesday afternoon at the Bangor base.

He joined base commander Capt. Mark Olson at the podium to accept a Navy Commendation Medal, a plaque from Navy Region Northwest with a letter of appreciation from its commander, Rear Adm. James Symonds, an American flag, a stunning blue “civilian” leash and a paw shake.

Benny’s first handler, Michael DeBock, traveled from Duvall to speak to a crowd of about 30 people and six of Benny’s kennel mates.

benny-retires
Benny, a military service dog, enjoys a bite of his retirement cake after formal ceremonies at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. With Benny is his handler, Allan Tetreault, who has worked with the German shepherd for 18 months. (Steve Zugschwerdt | For the Kitsap Sun)

“Out of all the dogs I handled in the military, Benny by far was my favorite,” said DeBock, now retired from the Navy and a police sergeant. “I’ll never forget him. He was definitely the best patrol pal anyone could ask for.”

Looking down at Benny, he added, “Enjoy long days basking in the sun. You deserve it.”

Benny got off to a rough start. Straight out of training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, the puppy just wanted to play. But soon he became a top performer.

In January 2000, he earned the top dog award at a Naval Base Kitsap competition. Three months later, he and DeBock finished fourth out of 58 teams from around the world at a competition in San Antonio, were the top Navy team there, and were featured in a magazine.

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Benny, a military service dog for 11 years, was the guest of honor at a retirement ceremony Tuesday at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Benny’s handler, Allan Tetreault, led Benny past the Bangor canine unit to the podium. (Steve Zugschwerdt | For the Kitsap Sun)

Benny served at Bangor from March 1998 to December 2008, playing a key role in ensuring a drug-free workplace by inspecting buildings, bachelor housing rooms, vehicles and submarines. He also served two stints in Iraq and another in Kuwait.

“He was a very passionate dog, very people-friendly, just a good partner,” said 1st Class Petty Officer Allan Tetreault, his handler the past 18 months.

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Military service dog Benny, center, and handler Allan Tetreault pose with other members of the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor canine unit. (Steve Zugschwerdt | For the Kitsap Sun)

The dog’s handler gets first dibs on him, then the other handlers have a chance. If none of them take him, members of the public can sign up at http://www.workingdog.com to adopt one. In Benny’s case, he was adopted by a woman who owns a horse ranch in Illinois.

Unlike police dogs, military dogs don’t live with their handlers, and their handlers change more often because sailors don’t usually stay at one base for long. The dogs are retired when they’re physically unable to perform or, like people, when they get tired of working, Tetreault said.

The civilian leash represents a dog’s working days are over and he can go home and be a dog.

“He was much more than a dog,” said Chief Amanda Cooper of Naval Base Kitsap Security, the master of ceremonies. “He was a friend and companion who put his life on the line to protect others. Military Working Dog Benny, you stand relieved. We have the watch.”

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Mike DeBock, left, and Allan Tetreault visit while military service dog Benny finishes up his retirement cake Tuesday at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. DeBock was Benny’s first handler at Bangor, and Tetreault his last. Benny is retiring after 11 years and has been adopted by a horse ranch owner in Illinois. (Steve Zugschwerdt | For the Kitsap Sun)

This story was found here: Benny Retires

War dog joins Fox Lake American Legion

Posted in Military stories, Military Working Dogs, retired dogs with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2009 by wardogmarine

 

By Bob Susnjara-Daily Herald Staff

Fox Lake’s American Legion Post has a new member with four legs, a bite of about 1,200 pounds of pressure per square inch and a willingness to eat meat on a floor.

Dexter became the first military working dog to receive a membership card for American Legion Post 703 at a ceremony Wednesday. Post 703 Cmdr. Jerry Kandziorski said national Legion officials indicated it may well have been a first in the United States.

“He was a tried and true veteran,” Kandziorski said. “He took his time in service and performed his duty. We think he deserves the recognition that should come to anybody.”

Dexter is a Navy veteran who served in Iraq with his handler, Petty Officer 1st Class Kathleen Ellison. One of the 10-year-old German shepherd’s heroic actions occurred in July 2004, when he detected explosives on the gas tank of a garbage truck that would have targeted a mess hall for U.S. troops at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.

About 75 guests watched Dexter’s membership ceremony at the Fox Lake American Legion hall, which was complete with an honor guard and invocation by Post 703 chaplain Bill Gordon.

dexter-mwd

Iraq war veteran Dexter gets a huge bone at American Legion Post 703 in Fox Lake, where he received a membership card at a ceremony Wednesday.

Legion members came bearing gifts for Dexter as well. The canine was a little cool toward a giant bone with a “Welcome Home Dexter” note on it, but he went to town on a 2-pound steak he removed from a platter and ate on the floor.

Ellison, 45, an upstate New York native, said she was in Afghanistan when she recently received word her former partner was in jeopardy of being euthanized in Naples, Italy, because of deteriorating health.

“I said, ‘Well, that is not going to happen. I’ll be there in about three weeks to get him,’ ” said Ellison, who worked with Dexter until May 2005.

Ellison found the Save-a-Vet organization in Lindenhurst, which found Dexter’s new home in Spring Grove. Launched by disabled veteran Danny Scheurer of Round Lake, the group rescues unwanted military and law-enforcement working dogs.

Scheurer said Dexter will live on a property with other retired military and law-enforcement canines where constant care is provided. He said the operation’s owner prefers to be anonymous.

dexterpic

Retired war dog Dexter is escorted Wednesday into the Fox Lake American Legion Post 703 hall by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Kathleen Ellison. Dexter became an American Legion member.

Using rest and relaxation time, Ellison left Afghanistan on Christmas Day and picked up Dexter in Naples on Monday. The pair landed Tuesday night in Milwaukee before the war dog’s big day in Fox Lake.

Ellison said she hopes to visit Dexter after her service in Afghanistan ends in about a year. She said she knows he’ll be in good hands at his new home in Spring Grove.

“You hope and pray that there’s going to be a happy ending,” Ellison said. “And there absolutely was. I can’t ask for anything more.”

Military Working Dog Hero Lex in a Veterans Day Parade

Posted in fallen handlers, Marine dog teams, Military Working Dogs, Miscellaneous, retired dogs, various k9 videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2008 by wardogmarine

If you have not read or heard about the Marine military working dog handler Cpl Dustin Lee and his mwd Lex then check them out. Cpl Lee was killed in action during the War on Terror but his mwd Lex survived and has been adopted by Cpl Lee’s family. This is video of Lex in a Veterans Day Parade in Phoenix from this past month.  

A video clip about adopting a military working dog

Posted in Miscellaneous, retired dogs, various k9 videos with tags , , , , , , , on November 23, 2008 by wardogmarine

Imagine being able to adopt your very own soldier, marine, or sailor. I mean literally being able to take one home with you. Well you can. Here is a video showing a happy owner adopting a military working dog. How fortunate an adopted owner can be by having a dog so special. 

Air Force K9 Handler Married Soldier Who Saved Her Life

Posted in air force teams, Military Working Dogs, retired dogs, Working Dog News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2008 by wardogmarine

This is an incredible story. Love sure brings people together in the most unique ways. This Air Force military working dog team is struck by an IED(improvised explosive device). Although badly wounded, she and her military working dog Rex survive. The US Army medic who comes to her aid, saves her life, and they eventually get married. On top of all that, they are allowed to adopt her military working dog Rex. I wish these two all the best. The article, which is from the Air Force Times is below. 

Jamie’s war wounds

K-9 handler adopted her Air Force dog and married the soldier who saved her life. But she’s still struggling to recover

By Michael Hoffman – Staff writer, Air Force Times

Every married couple has a story about the first time they met. Mike and Jaime Mangan met on the battlefield in Iraq.

She was severely wounded, and he almost let her die.

Jaime, then an Air Force K-9 handler with the 21st Security Forces Squadron, was patrolling Baghdad on June 25, 2005, with her working dog, Rex. They were searching for improvised explosive devices.

On the drive back to base in her Humvee, Jamie drove over one.

The explosion flung her onto the street, where she lay unconscious. Mike, an Army sergeant first class with the 1159th Medical Company, was the first medic to reach her.

Jaime’s lungs had collapsed, her pelvis was shattered, and three vertebrae in her spine were fractured. Mike later discovered she also was bleeding internally, and her spleen had ruptured.

He had to make a snap decision: Should he spend time trying to save her or — due to the seriousness of her injuries — move on to help others who might have a better chance of surviving?

As luck would have it, several factors allowed him to focus on Jaime.

The helicopter that took him and other soldiers to the scene was ready to depart immediately, so he got there quicker than usual. In addition, he had a new medic working with him, so he could afford to spend time with Jaime.

“If I hadn’t had the extra medic that day and we had been five minutes later, she would have been someone I had to leave behind,” he said.

When Mike finally left Jaime’s side, he had no reason to think he would see her again. And he wouldn’t have — except for Rex.

The German shepherd survived the IED attack with only a singed nose and was found walking near the blast site. Jaime, rehabbing at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., thought the dog had been killed, but once she found out he survived, she wanted to adopt him.

Rex was nowhere near retirement age, however, and under Title 10, U.S. Code 2583, the Air Force couldn’t release Rex if he was still young and healthy enough to work.

Jaime chose to fight that law, going public with her plea. Many newspapers and TV news stations carried stories on her plight. Soon, members of Congress and former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley took notice and backed her request.

On Dec. 30, 2005, President Bush signed into law a bill to allow working dogs to be adopted by their handlers after a traumatic event.

So Jaime was able to take Rex home. Together, they attended the 2006 State of the Union speech as guests of first lady Laura Bush in the House gallery.

“The entire process was a neat deal,” said Jaime’s dad, Randy Himes. “Rex is now part of the family. We have not one but two Air Force members now.”


Photo Courtesy of JOHN NORMILE
Mike and Jamie Mangan with Rex outside their farm in Smethport Pennsylvania on August 4. Jamie and Rex were a team in Iraq where Jamie was gravely injured by an IED in 2005. Mike Mangan was the first medic on the scene and saved her life, and they eventually were married.

BUDDING ROMANCE

Home from his deployment to Kirkuk, Iraq, Mike, 47, read about Jaime’s battle to bring Rex home and instantly recognized her face.

By then, Jaime was back at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. One of Mike’s friends, an officer at the base, sent pictures of the ceremony when she received the Purple Heart. The friend encouraged him to call her.

He did.

“I started off saying, ‘I want to apologize ahead of time if this upsets you, but my name is Mike and I was the flight medic the day you were wounded,’” he recalled.

“Then there was just silence and I was like, ‘Man, I stepped on it.’”

Stunned, Jaime eventually explained that she was trying to piece together exactly what happened after the IED exploded. She had no coherent memories for a month after the blast occurred. She and Mike talked for 45 minutes.

“She ended the conversation saying, ‘Thank you for saving my life.’ I just said, ‘Don’t say that to me on the telephone. I want to meet you,’” Mike said.

The two spoke on the phone and e-mailed for three months before Mike — who was stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. — took a trip to Peterson in August 2006.

“It was great that I got to say thank you,” she said. “I also got to fill in some voids and, at the same time, I felt the need to get to know him.”

MEDICALLY RETIRED

Jaime, 29, had dreamed of becoming a veterinarian after her service, but when she returned to school, it was impossible for her to concentrate on coursework or study for tests.

“I used to be a straight-A student, but now I can’t learn new things or remember formulas,” she said.

The IED had left her with traumatic brain injury, the signature wound of the Iraq war.

She has the classic symptoms: memory loss, migraine headaches, difficulty concentrating and violent mood swings.

“In the beginning, you would call her and she would never call you back just because she could never remember,” said Staff Sgt. Tony Davis, a former co-worker.

Jaime still suffers excruciating pain that makes it hard to walk and to sleep at night, she said.

The jagged scars on her chest serve as a reminder of the multiple surgeries she endured. Doctors removed her spleen and fused her spine to the inside of her pelvis after the attack.

Jaime said it’s unlikely she’ll be able to have children.

She wanted to remain in uniform, but her injuries forced her to medically retire as a technical sergeant.

“Leaving the Air Force was real difficult for her,” Himes said.

REUNION

Mike flew to Peterson for Jaime’s retirement ceremony, and the two began dating.

Jaime moved back East to her hometown of Smethport, Pa., to be closer to her family.

Mike retired from the Army in June 2007 as a first sergeant after 26 years and moved to Pennsylvania, where he works at the local hospital as a registered nurse.

Four months after they started dating, the two got married in a small ceremony in November 2006.

“I think Mike would have liked to have had a bigger wedding, but I just couldn’t handle it, and he understood that,” Jaime said.

Mike and Jaime lean on each other for support.

“There are good days and bad days,” he said. “There are days she is in so much pain she can’t even sleep and there are times her mind isn’t in the same ZIP code … but at least I know the source of the pain and it’s easier when you are both dealing with it,” Mike said.

Jaime now investigates child abuse cases as a social worker for the McKean County Children and Youth Services Agency.

She also volunteers as an emergency medical technician for the Hamlin Township fire department, where her father is the chief.

But what Jaime says she finds most therapeutic is working with Rex and taking care of her five horses.

“It’s mentally relaxing just brushing them,” she said. The horses “don’t judge you or demand anything from you. I just can’t connect with people anymore, it’s too stressful.”

However, Jaime says she could soon lose those horses because she won’t be able to afford them. The Veterans Affairs Department recently reduced her disability rating from 100 percent to 70 percent, following a medical re-examination. That cut her monthly disability payment from $2,500 to $1,100.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Mike Parker, who helps service members navigate the VA process, said it’s not uncommon for ratings to drop as a patient gets better.

But, Mike said he finds it difficult to understand.

“I don’t look at it as critical income, but for you to give up your organs like that, and then someone says it’s not worth that compensation anymore. Geez.”

Losing those organs isn’t what bothers Jaime the most, though. It’s her luck.

The hardest part of her recovery has been thinking of the more than 1,800 service members who have died from IED blasts.

“I have a hard time with the fact that I survived,” she said. “Maybe [Mike] should have just walked away. There are so many soldiers who have died that have kids and had families.

“I don’t have kids. I don’t have anyone that needed me there. I just wish I could have taken somebody else’s place.”

After years of working closely with his police partner, Talon is retired to home and family

Posted in police dog teams, police dogs, retired dogs with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2008 by wardogmarine

photo provided by Smith family – Palmetto Police Corp. Tom Smith and police K-9 Talon in 2005 with 50lbs of seized cannabis discovered by Talon. Talon was retired in July after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, and he continues to live at the Smith family home in Palmetto. Talon participated in 694 arrests during his 6.5 year-long law enforcement career with Smith. Photo courtesy of the Smith family.

 – gagostin@bradenton.com from the Bradenton Herald

Work is much too quiet these days for Cpl. Tom Smith.

The thunderous bark of the partner that accompanied Smith at work for the past 6½ years is gone.

Now, the 10-year veteran of the Palmetto Police Department is back to working shifts alone.

Smith’s shifts with Talon ended this summer when the 8-year-old dog was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Smith took Talon to a veterinarian July 15, expecting to hear of hip or elbow problems.

Instead, vets found anaplastic sarcoma that had already spread into Talon’s lymphatic system.

“For some reason, I was never thinking cancer. I was thinking we could work him a couple more years,” Smith said. “Then this came out of nowhere.”

The partner who’s assisted Smith in 271 felony arrests and 423 misdemeanor arrests is retired from police service and spending his final days with Smith and his family.

Talon’s duty now is to enjoy life as a full-time family dog with Smith, his wife, Cindy, and their three sons Alex, 19; T.J., 14; and Brandon, 12.

The Smiths have the family dogs they’ve chosen – a pug and a Japanese chin – and Talon, the German shepherd that was born in Europe, bred as a police service dog, sold to the Palmetto Police Department and assigned to Smith in 2002.

In turn, Talon also was assigned to Smith’s family then, as police dogs are required to live with their handlers.

Having a live-in K-9 concerned Cindy Smith, as a mother.

Talon’s razor-sharp teeth can easily put blood blisters on the limbs of someone brave enough to get in a bite suit used in training.

“When we first got him I wasn’t so sure, being that he’s trained to attack, about what kind of situation we were getting ourselves into,” Cindy said. “But right away, I saw he’s so loving and very sociable and took to our family right away.”

A photo album dedicated to Talon shows his family side and police service.

There’s a photo of a young Talon with a death grip on a bite suit and one with him proudly posing next to 50 pounds of marijuana he located at the post office.

At home, there’s a snapshot of Talon with the Smiths on Christmas, and one of him towering over their pug, Kirby, and Japanese chin, Precious.

pvidela@bradenton.com – Palmetto Police Corp. Tom Smith his recently retired police K-9 Talon. Talon was retired in July after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, and he continues to live at the Smith family home in Palmetto. Talon participated in 694 arrests during his 6.5 year-long law enforcement career with Smith. PAUL VIDELA/pvidela@bradenton.com

“Talon has not just been a great police dog but he has been a super family pet,” Tom said. “He’s always there when you need him.”

In return, the Smiths are there for Talon.

“Retirement has been hard on him,” Tom said.

When Tom’s at work, Cindy comforts Talon, who howls and paces for his handler.

“He’ll lay by the door and wait for Tom to come home, and every once in awhile he’ll remember why he’s upset and cry and howl again,” Cindy said.

Alex makes sure Talon gets his exercise, T.J. takes him for walks, and Brandon lets him lie at the foot of his bed at night.

“You go through all the memories of him, and you wonder what life is going to be like without him,” Cindy said.

Grace Gagliano, Bradenton city reporter, can be reached at 748-0411, ext. 2620.


pvidela@bradenton.com – Palmetto Police Corp. Tom Smith’s recently retired police K-9 Talon, at center, poses with Smith’s sons, from left, Alex, 19, Brandon, 12, and Thomas, 14. Talon and the other two affable Smith pooches Kirby, at left, and Precious live happily together, with the occasional squabble over prized chew toys. Talon, however, is the only dog in the family who can claim 694 arrests over a 6.5 year-long law enforcement career. PAUL VIDELA/pvidela@bradenton.com

-I wish you a long lasting retirement Talon, congratulations on a wonderful career and thank you for your service.

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