There have been far too many tragic stories on this blog where police officers needlessly kill pets and are not held accountable by their own departments despite the irreversible damage they have inflicted upon families in their communities. But there are occasional stories where police do right by pets and I like to bring attention to those too. In this case, Ridgefield police are doing right by one of their own.
Zeus is an 11 year old German shepherd dog who served in the department’s K-9 unit from 2006 – 2014. He had to be retired from duty last year due to a severe hip disorder and went to live as a pet with the officer who was his handler on the force. Zeus had an impressive career:
Zeus assisted with 250 narcotics arrests, tracked 50 missing or wanted people, located six people in life-threatening situations and found six suspects on the run after crimes, police said. He also helped police discover 10 pounds of marijuana in 2006. The department also did many demonstrations with the police dog for members of the public.
Zeus’s health has declined greatly this past year and he is scheduled to be euthanized today. Many pet owners who make that difficult decision like to do something special with their beloved family member on that last day. And in keeping with Zeus’s years of public service, the Ridgefield police department has announced a final ride for the dog:
Retired Police K-9 Zeus will be honored on Wednesday April 15, 2015 with his final ride. The ride will began at Police Headquarters at 4:45 pm and take the following route: West on Governor Street, North on Rt. 35/Main Street, North on Rt. 7, ending at Ridgefield Veterinary Hospital. Ridgefield officers will be joined by local law enforcement agencies to pay tribute to Zeus during this final ride.
Members of the community are asked to gather on the sidewalks of Main Street along the route if they wish to pay tribute.
This is leading by example. This is how police engage the community and show that pets are family, deserving of respect and love in life and in death. This is a police department giving recognition to the human-animal bond and the role it plays in our communities. Well done.
I am grateful for Zeus’s service and for the fact that I know he feels loved today, just like every other day. More police/pet stories like this please.