K-9 Officers Memorial Fund
Help provide dignified memorial services for our fallen K-9 Officers that have served and protected our community. If you would like to donate to assist with the cost of our K-9 Officers Memorial Services, please contact our offices today.
Winter served with the prestigious Navy Seals as an Explosive Specialist from 2012-2014 exclusively in Afghanistan. He was an exceptional bomb detection K9 but was honorably discharged very young as he became unable to be transported via a helicopter as he developed PTSD. He served his country for a minimum of 18 months.
An average of 80% of military K9s are adopted by their handlers. In Winter’s case he was retired to the US on his own. He spent time in a crate on a Naval ship in Norfolk before being transferred to Dover Airforce Base.
A good bit of transactions took place before he was allowed to be adopted by a retired military male who was also an Army Reservist. This man moved to Georgia and Winter was soon removed from his care due to neglect. I was contacted only to foster him until they found a suitable home. They preferred a male and absolutely no kids under the age of 5.
Winter and I bonded, completely, within a matter of seconds. I brought him home to two senior English Labs and three cats. I have this fully trained German Shepherd who never stopped smelling for bombs who could not be crated or muzzled. I had no choice but to go with my gut and pray he would do okay with my animals while I went to work. I watched him on the camera from my office. He never left the door I walked out of. He never left my side for any reason, ever. He fiercely protected me and all his siblings and it turns out he loved mothering abandoned kittens.
This dog was so special I only worked for less than a year and decided to retire and live a completely different financial life in order to be with him everyday.
When I left the workforce the only plan I had was to learn how to train military K9s. And I did only to realize I did not have the stomach or the heart to treat them as military weapons/possessions. I learned that military K9s are NCOs and they are always one rank above their handler. But as in any profession, these precious K9s are not all treated with the respect they deserve.
Every human that met or knew Winter will tell you he was sweet and was extremely loving towards me but he was 100% military 24/7. And if you stepped in my home with drugs on you …Winter would put you on the ground. (Workers) Winter thrived smelling for bombs but he hated certain chemicals in certain drugs I guess. And it became common knowledge… don’t touch me or put your hands on me in any way.
So, as the saying goes “I gave up the life I had to have the life I want.”
I felt so honored every single day of my life to have the opportunity to live my life along side this dog that is exactly what I did. I literally was able to take him everywhere. From hospitals to schools to church. I had two medical issues that required hospital stays for a few days … otherwise, I never spent a night away from Winter in over 7 years.
K9 Blue/Officer BK Kang
A beloved K9 has been laid to rest at Oak Rest Pet Memorial Gardens with a 21-gun salute and full military honors during her memorial service. K9 Officer Blue and her handler Officer Byung "BK" Kang served more than 300 combat missions while serving together in the United States Marine Corps on a deployment to Afghanistan from 2011-2012. Blue was trained to detect explosive devices and is credited with saving lives daily.
SWAT K9 Blue was killed in the line of duty while tracking a suspect who fled from a stolen vehicle. K9 Blue worked with Gwinnett County Police for just over one year as the agency’s first dedicated SWAT K9. He was a dual purpose tracking/apprehension and explosives detection canine. SWAT K9 Blue was specially trained to work in a SWAT environment to conduct mission specific SWAT canine duties.
Gwinnett County Police Department, paid their final respects to beloved police dog, K-9 Eli. He died last week after showing signs of distress from attempting to track down a suspect. Eli, who had been with the department for eight years was born in Belgium. "Eli is the definition of a great police dog," said Officer Aaron Carlyle, who read a tribute to Eli at Thursday's funeral. "His hard work and dedication to the job was unmatched by many. For those few who have held (a K-9 leash), they would have given anything to hold Eli's leash."
Lawrenceville Police Department K9 Holland Di Casa Sintiago "EIKO", passed away July 14, 2016. He joined the department in May 2011, helped gather evidence and locate missing persons. In his career, he helped find more then $5 million. Eiko was involved with more than 100 arrests and assisted local, state and federal agencies detect drugs, resulting in the largest heroin bust in Georgia, where 38 kilograms were found, police said. Eiko will be sorely missed and never forgotten!
Atlanta Police Department Bomb Detection K9 "ROY" (Roy Boy), Military working dog Number E240 passed away Nov 5, 2012. He was one of the first Vizla's in the National Explosive Detection Canine Program. Born Aug 01, 2000, served at the pentagon, and Washington-Regan International airport until 2006 when He became a part of the Atlanta Police Department K-9 unit. He was assigned to Officer Tina Cunningham until December 2010. He was a fighter and a little warrior until the end of his life. He was a great partner and will be missed forever!
Gwinnett County Police buried one of their own today. Funeral services for K-9 Caleb were held Thursday afternoon at Oak Rest Pet Gardens in Bethlehem. Ofc. John Bailey said Caleb would be remembered by many for "bringing great tenacity to the game."
"Although stubborn at times, Caleb made a great police dog," Bailey said. "It is without question that he made Gwinnett County a safer place to live." After retiring from the force in March of 2011, K-9 Caleb became the full time pet of his handler Cpl. Mike Waddell. "He was a wonderful addition to the Waddell family," Bailey said.
"He changed from being that tough police dog to being a silly part of their family," he added. Bailey encouraged those in attendance not to dwell on the pain of losing Caleb. "He wouldn't want us to be sad right now because it just wasn't in his nature," Bailey explained. Caleb died unexpectedly on April 10. He would have been 10 years old on May 25.
Read More on Gwinnet Daily Post
On October 25 the MARTA Police Department Explosive Detection K-9 Unit laid to rest one of their own, K-9 Rexo, at the Oak Rest Pet Gardens in Bethlehem. K-9 Rexo joined the unit in 2007 and served through February of 2011, retiring at the fine age of 11. Rexo had served as the partner to Amy Shumate, who loved him as her partner and as a member of her family.
Shumate praised K-9 Rexo, saying that he had “protected me and stayed as my companion until the end. Rexo could bark on command and had the best, most laid back temperament.” K-9 Rexo even had the loving habit of sleeping next to Shumate’s bed at night, a sign of affection and protection.
Besides his time on the force, K-9 Rexo loved to spend time lounging on the sofa or his dog bed and had particular affection for one of his toys, a stuffed pterodactyl. Even after retirement, Rexo would try to sneak into Shumate’s vehicle to take a ride and go to work.
K-9 Rexo will surely be remembered as a valuable member of the force and of the Shumate family.
K-9 Officer Bolo
The Atlanta Police Department's Red Dog Unit, laid to rest one of its own on Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 1:00 pm. K-9 Officer, "BOLO", was assigned to Officer Maurice Phelps of the Atlanta Police Department's now disbanded, Red Dog Unit. "BOLO", short for "Be on the Lookout", was a 5-year veteran member of the Atlanta Police Department and a decorated member of the Red Dog Unit taking Top Dog Honors receiving 1st place Overall, Rooms and Vehicles, in the USPCA Regional Drug Detection Trials in 2009. "BOLO" was also awarded the K-9 Officer of the Week Certificate and medal for his immeasurable work efforts. During his career, K-9 Officer "BOLO" assisted in more than 950 calls for service and 469 searches resulting in the confiscation of more than $2,919,766 worth of narcotics, 26 guns, and $481,170 in cash money.
In recognition of and as a tribute to K-9 Officers everywhere serving in the public interest, services are provided and donated by Oak Rest Pet Gardens. K-9 Officer "BOLO" was honorably laid to rest in the Garden of Honor at Oak Rest Pet Gardens alongside many other K-9 Officers previously laid to rest.
If you would like to assist in donating funds specifically set aside for our K-9 Officers, please contact us directly at 770-457-7659.
K-9 Officer Hercules
On August 6, 2011, Deceased Pet Care, along with the Lawrenceville Police Department, helped Officer Dave Russell say goodbye to his partner and companion on the force, K-9 SGT Hercules. Hercules was chosen by Officer Russell from his peers at Von Liche Kennels in Denver, Indiana, and joined the Lawrenceville Police Department in July of 2001. As a descendent from a long line of eastern European titled working and police service dogs, Hercules was an eager and ready member of the force.
Throughout his career with Officer Russell, Hercules was certified multiple times by the National Narcotics Detection Dog Association and the American Work Dog Association in both patrol and narcotics detection, and was credited with 323 arrests. In his last day of action in April of 2011, Hercules helped Officer Russell apprehend three out of four people suspected in armed home-invasions. He received numerous letters of commendation from several agencies in and around Gwinnett County for his tireless efforts and dedicated service.
Hercules was more than just a crime fighter. He was a favorite to his fellow officers and to the community, as Hercules was gentle and loving companion that wouldn’t say no to a hug, but also knew when to “go to work”. He was a companion to Officer Russell and his family, and a beloved member of their home. After battling long illness, Hercules passed away surrounded by his colleagues at the police department and with his best friend, Officer Russell by his side.
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
February 1, 2000
A solemn day as K-9 hero is laid to rest
The death of a dog can move police officers to poetry and tears.
Police treat the funeral of a police dog much like that of a fallen human officer. An American flag covers the dogsized coffin. A bagpiper plays "Amazing Grace." Two uniformed police officers carefully fold the flag into a triangle. One squarely marches to the handler, presents it, and salutes sharply. [Continue Reading]
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
June 15, 2005
Gwinnett Opinions: K-9 officer Cisco goes to reward after fine service
It is with a sad heart that I announce that on Friday K-9 Cisco was put to rest.
Over the years, Cisco was pictured alongside numerous groups of children in local newspapers, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I collected those pictures and will cherish the memories they provide. I was lucky to have raised Cisco from when he was 7 weeks old. I cuddled him in my arms and knew he would be something special. [Continue Reading]