By: Tracey Zysk, Valley Patriot Doggie Columnist – September, 2012
In the past few months the Merrimack Valley experienced the unexplainable and unbelievable. The loss of four very well established and experienced K-9 dogs. Three to cancer and one to retirement. It normally doesn’t happen this way, but in this case it did. This is a major hit for the K-9 program in the Valley and one that our local police departments are definitely feeling.
Chelmsford Police – On March 23, 2012 Chelmsford Police K-9 Axel took his final ride in his police cruiser. Axel, a 5yr old Czechoslovakian shepherd passed away from a strong fought battle with cancer.
Mass State Police – June 18, 2012 Nero completed his last shift and passed peacefully on June 22. Nero became ill and was diagnosed with a fast moving cancer. Nero conducted over 500 narcotic searches in his six year career with his handler Officer Pat Silva. He was also a fan favorite at the Topsfield fair.
Andover Police – August 15, 2012 Andover Police Officer Mickey Connor said his farewells to his partner 9 yr old Niko. Niko had a very long and successful career and was a frequent in helping surrounding towns with their search needs.
North Andover- Kyzer is still with us but officially retired this summer. He is now adjusting to home life and transitioning into become a family pet.
Kyzer earned regional and national recognition when he saved the life of his handler Lt. Gray and three other officers during a shooting at the Lawrence municipal airport. He was also named a National K-9 Hero in 2011.
The entire Merrimack Valley is really feeling this loss. K-9’s are an essential part of law enforcement and must remain even with the tightest of budgets. These dogs are trained to do what most humans are incapable of accomplishing. They train endlessly and they never have a day off. They are always on duty, ready and waiting for the call. To the handlers: You lost your partner, he was your defender and he was your love. RIP ..
In October there will be another K-9 academy class. Let’s just say these rookie pups are going to step into a Merrimack Valley legacy and we will be anxiously awaiting to meet the next generation.
Tracey Zysk, owner of Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care in North Andover MA is a local pet care professional. She has been featured on local radio, tv and newspapers educating the general public on animal care and animal health & wellness. Tracey is a proud supporter of Police, Fire & Military K9 units. Tracey may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Become a fan on facebook at Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care.