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Police dog is in line for honor

Ventura's Sonny killed on duty in '84

By Adam Foxman
Ventura County Star

VENTURA, Calif. — Veteran of crime scenes and classrooms with power, long hair that earned him the nickname 'lightning dust mop' and a playful disposition, Sonny was a beloved member of the Ventura Police Department when he was fatally shot in 1984 while chasing a wanted parolee.

The 6-year-old German shepherd's death was the catalyst for a 1985 amendment to California law that made it a felony to kill a police animal, and this week he will be honored during a memorial for law enforcement dogs at UC Davis in Northern California, officials said.

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