Memorial Day Salute to Our Fallen K9's

K9's serve our country in many capacities and in many departments both on American soil and overseas.  They are the embodiment of devotion, loyalty and courage.

I’ve shed quite a few tears for these K-9’s I’ve never met. I don't think they understand the true danger they face because it's all a game for them.  I don't know if they understand their heroics mean their handler gets to go home to his family.  I do know they form a deep bond with their handler's becoming members of their family. Many retire to live out the remainder of their lives as pets of their handlers.

photo credit: AP

photo credit: AP

No one really knows how many K-9’s are currently serving in the United States but I read where it’s estimated to be around 50,000.  According to the Officer Down Memorial Page twenty-seven K-9’s lost their lives in 2014 and twenty K-9’s lost their lives in 2015 in the line of duty.  Hopefully every state will enact laws mandating the killing of these dogs carry the same penalties as killing an officer.

These are the beautiful souls we have lost so far this year.

K9 Jojo

SBCSD Facebook

SBCSD Facebook

4 year old male German Shepherd served 3 years with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, CA with his handler Detective Brad Phillips. His EOW was Wednesday, January 6, 2016 from asphyxiation. His handler lost his pinky finger in his attempt to dislodge the item.

K9 Jethro

photo credit: Canton Ohio Police Dept

photo credit: Canton Ohio Police Dept

2 year old male German Shepherd served the Canton Police Department, OH with his handler Officer Ryan Davis. His EOW was Sunday, January 10, 2016 from gunfire. Officer Davis purchased him as a puppy for his daughter.

K9 Krijger

photo credit: unknown

photo credit: unknown

4 year old male Belgian Malinois served 3 years with the Norfolk Police Department, VA with his handler Officer Jake Clark.  His EOW was Monday, January 11, 2016 from gunfire.

K9 Ogar

photo credit: Smith County Police Dept

photo credit: Smith County Police Dept

2 year old male Belgian Malinois served 1 year with the Smith County Constable's Office - Precinct 5, TX with his handler Deputy Kevin Petty.  His EOW was Tuesday, January 19, 2016 from gunfire.

K9 Jag

photo credit: Julie Baldwin

photo credit: Julie Baldwin

8 year old male Belgian Malinois served 5 years with the Twin Rivers Unified School District Police Department, CA with his handler Deputy Kevin Petty.  His EOW was Wednesday, January 20, 2016 when he was struck by vehicle.

K9 Kobus

photo credit: Omaha Police Dept

photo credit: Omaha Police Dept

9 year old male Belgian Malinois served 6 years with the Omaha Police Department, NE with his handler Deputy Kevin Petty.  His EOW was Saturday, January 23, 2016 from gunfire.  He was retiring in March.

K9 Betcha

2 year old male Australian Cattle Dog served 1 year with the Rutland County Sheriff's Office, VT. His EOW was Friday, January 29, 2016 when he was struck by his handler’s vehicle.

K9 Aren

photo credit: Pittsburgh Police K9 Unit

photo credit: Pittsburgh Police K9 Unit

5 year old male German Shepherd served 4 years with the Port Authority of Allegheny County Police Department, PA with his handler Officer Brian O’Malley. His EOW was Sunday, January 31, 2016 from stabbing.

K9 Vigor

Photo credit: Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Photo credit: Monroe County Sheriff's Office

9 year old male Dutch Shepherd served 5 years with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, TN with his handler Deputy Sgt. BJ Johnson.  His EOW was Wednesday, March 9, 2016 from drowning.

K9 Reefer

photo credit: Chelan County Sheriff's Office

photo credit: Chelan County Sheriff's Office

10 year old male Black Labrador served 9 years with the Chelan County Sheriff's Office, WA. His EOW was Wednesday, March 9, 2016 when he was struck by a vehicle.

K9 Nicky

Photo credit: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Photo credit: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

9 year old male Belgian Malinois served the Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, NV with his handler Sgt. Eric Kerns.  His EOW was Thursday, March 31, 2016 from gunfire (Accidental).  Nicky had just returned to duty after recovering from wounds inflicted by a machete during a previous apprehension in February 2015.

K9 Aldo

photo credit:

photo credit:

7 year old male Belgian Malinois served 5 years with the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake, UT with his handler Officer Luis Lovato.  His EOW was Wednesday, April 27, 2016 from gunfire.

K9 Bruno

photo credit: friends of the anaheim police k9 association

photo credit: friends of the anaheim police k9 association

10 year old male German Shepherd served 6 years with the Anaheim Police Department, CA with his handler Officer R.J. Young.  His EOW was Wednesday, May 18, 2016 from gunfire.

I never say "Rest In Peace" because I firmly believe these amazing creatures are running and jumping and playing in Heaven while they patiently wait for their loved ones to join them. May God bless and watch over all of our soldiers, human and canine, on American soil and on foreign soil.

Resources: Officer Down Memorial Page, Memorials To Fallen K9’s