Ionia, MI – Ionia County Sheriff’s Office (ICSO) K9 Dinar died on Jan. 31 due to an illness caused by a liver problem.
K9 Dinar, who would have turned nine years old on Feb. 16, didn’t appear to be feeling well on Jan. 27, so his handler, ICSO Sergeant Dion Sower, took him to the veterinarian the next day, the Ionia Sentinel-Standard reported.
Doctors believed that K9 Dinar was suffering from a liver problem, but they were unable to improve his condition in the days that followed.
“I could tell he was not doing well,” Sgt. Sower told the Ionia Sentinel-Standard.
Sgt. Sower and his supervisors agreed that K9 Dinar needed to be humanely euthanized to end his suffering.
Sgt. Sower said he is devastated about losing his longtime friend and partner, who he described as an “awesome” dog.
The German shepherd, who was born in the Netherlands, was trained in tracking, searches, handler protection, apprehension and narcotics detection, the Ionia Sentinel-Standard reported.
He began training with Sgt. Sower in October of 2013.
Two months later, he was ready to get to work. He handled a total of 263 calls for service for the ICSO in the six years that followed.
“Right from the get-go, he knew what he was doing,” Sgt. Sower recalled. “He was instantly an asset to the department.”
K9 Dinar’s last call for service was on Jan. 11, when he tracked down a wanted felon who had fled from another jurisdiction, the Daily News reported.
“It was an awesome track. He was really good with that. I enjoyed working with him and behind him,” Sgt. Sower told the paper as his eyes filled with tears. “He was not just an asset to me. I love that dog. He did a lot here. He assisted finding missing children, missing elderly people. Over the years he’s done so much for the citizens of the county. I’m going to miss him.”
K9 Dinar loved getting to interact with children during outreach events in schools and throughout the community, the Ionia Sentinel-Standard reported.
“It was fun to see the kids’ faces light up when the dog would come into the room,” Sgt. Sower said. “Fun-loving, hard-working, motivated and dedicated – that pretty much sums him up.”
K9 Dinar was the ICSO’s only K9.
“We lost a member of the agency,” Ionia County Sheriff Charlie Noll told the Daily News. “Yes, it was a dog, but he was considered a deputy. Dinar was a very important asset to this agency but to the community, too.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office and Sgt. Sower in the loss of K9 Dinar.