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Police Dog Dies After Chase

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June 24, 2004

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Police Dog Dies After Chase

Officer Down: K.G. - [Bremerton, Washington]

Police dog dies day after chase

n For the second time, Officer Mike Davis sees a partner die.

By Derek Sheppard Sun Staff

Despite emergency CPR by his human partner on Friday, Bremerton police dog K.G. died Saturday night, officials said Sunday.

K.G. is the second canine partner Officer Mike Davis has seen lost in the line of duty. Davis' partner Buddy died in a shooting incident in 2001.

Friday night, Davis and K.G. were helping Washington State Patrol troopers find two men who ditched a car on Sherman Heights Road and had run into a swampy area in a nearby quarry.

K.G. had run ahead of Davis into the swampy area. When Davis arrived, he found his partner lifeless in the water. Police believe one of the fleeing men might have tried to drown K.G..

After Davis performed CPR and revived the dog, K.G. was taken to an animal hospital. K.G. died Saturday night.

The suspects, a 44-year-old man from Bremerton and a 39-year-old man from Poulsbo, were arrested on suspicion of a laundry list of charges. The two will likely appear in Kitsap County Superior Court today.

Kitsap County Sheriff's Sgt. Jon Hytinen, a canine handler for 11 years, said the dogs often are thrust into dangerous situations in order to protect other responding officers, but added that the canine partners aren't just dogs.

"They're not just your partner at work," he said. "They're a part of your family."

Canine handlers comprise a small, tight-knit segment of the local law enforcement community, and handlers become close with their canine partners.

Police agencies devote thousands of dollars, often with the help of donations, to purchase and train police dogs, and the canines live and train with their partners.

"It's like losing a member of your family," Hytinen said, "almost like losing a child."

In 2001, Davis's previous dog, Buddy, was shot and killed at Lions Field while pursuing two men.

Aaron Williams was accused of shooting Buddy and Davis, who shot back at Williams, hitting him in the side.

Hundreds mourned Buddy's death at a 2001 memorial, and donations poured in to help purchase and train his successor, K.G.

Local police also received donations to buy bulletproof vests for the canines.

Reach reporter Derek Sheppard at (360) 792-9227 or at dsheppard@thesunlink.com.

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