SERVICE & POLICE DOG TRIBUTE

This portion of the site is currently dedicated to those brave canine officers from the various K-9 patrol units in the area. We provide complementary cremation services to all police and service dogs. We are honored to handle the cremation needs of the Wilmington Police Department, The New Castle County Police Department, The Delaware County Department of Corrections, and The Delaware State Police. We are currently gathering and adding the stories and photos of some of the canine officers and service dogs that have fallen, as well as some historical information of how the units began.

If you are or were the handler of a canine officer or service dog and would like to share your story here, please call us at (302) 656-5737.


CHARLY

Service agency: Personal Service/Department of Veterans Affairs
Dog's Name: Charly Breed: Austrailan Shepherd

"Charly" was a female Austrailan Shepherd going on 13 "people years" when she had to be put down. She was fully trained/certified and we graduated training on September 22, 1997. From that time, she rarely left my side. I have a medical condition and "Charly" would let me know when to take meds so that it would not become a problem for me. 

Being hearing impaired, she could/would also alert me when the phone rang or, when someone was at the door, also when a smoke alarm would go off. She did many other "jobs." While not required, she very quickly learned to pick up things when I would drop them (keys, a glove, and the list goes on). When I would ask her, she would even pick up items for complete strangers. She was paid for in large part by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. I myself am a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans.

"Charly" was a constant "sidekick." We flew on commercial airlines (I had to purchase a separate seat for her), she would accompany me to Mass and many local stores, and even go with me on doctor/dental visits. Employees at most places knew "Charly" not only by sight, but by name as well. This closeness makes my loss a bit more profound. 

Obviously, I want to thank the very caring people at Delaware Pet Creamations for the excellent and caring way that they handled her service. And for the opportunity to honor her on this site, eulogizing her life and the "job" that she did so well.


MAX

Law Enforcement Agency: New Castle County Police Department
Dog's Name: Max   |  Breed: German Shepherd Dog (Kiev, Ukraine)   |  Handler: S/Cpl. Terrence O'Connor
Birth/Death: 1992-Dec. 28, 2002   |  Years of active service: 1993-1996
Commendations: Max attended several triathlons at the North American Police work Dog Association.
Special Training/Unit: Max was initially handled by Cpl. Mark Sweetman where he received his initial training in Patrol work and Narcotic Detection. Max was given to me as my first dog and I completed an additional 13 weeks of training with him. We worked for several years on the street.

Max was quite a stubborn guy. He was nicknamed "butt head" due to his stubbornness, but I still would not have wanted him any other way. Max loved toys and loved the game of criminal apprehension. One day, Max and I were dispatched to a physical therapy business along Miller Rd, reference a burglary in progress. When we got there, the Wilmington Police Officers advised they believed the burglar was still inside. I made my required announcements and deployed max into the building to find the suspect. Several minutes later I hear this ruckus and max growling on the second floor. Thinking he found and has the "bad guy", I promptly go to him. What I found was Max batting around and biting a physical therapy ball about twice his size. He was just having a blast and so were the WPD officers when they saw this act. Fortunately the perp was not there, but that didn't stop the ribbing I got for quite a long time. My proudest moment with max was really our first day together after training. He tracked and located two missing 10 yr old boys. I loved him and after all these years still miss him.


PIETIE

Law Enforcement Agency: New Castle County Police Department
Dog's Name: Pietie   |  Breed: Belgian Malinois   |   Handler: S/Cpl. Donald Witte
Birth/Death: 7/1/1996-2/19/2003   |  Years of active service: 1998-2003
Commendations: Pietie received four outstanding service citations and one life-saving citation. Distinguished Service Ribbon
Special Training/Unit: Pietie was responsible for over 75 drug trafficking arrests, and numerous felony arrests involving guns and stolen cars. Pietie and his partner Donnie were members of SWAT. Pietie was also North American police work dog certified and Eastern Police K-9 certified.

Wilmington Police K-9 Department lost K-9 Pietie, a Belgian Malinois. Pietie was undergoing a cat-scan for obstruction in his nose. During a search in a contaminated creek and wooded area, Pietie was in the process of apprehending a second suspect involved in a robbery when a foreign object was apparently lodged in his nose. He had an allergic reaction to the dye used in the cat-scan and went into cardiac arrest. They were unable to revive him. Officer Donald Witte, handler of five years was by his side. Many will miss Pietie, and have many fond memories. One day while they were training on the third floor of the Police station, Donnie and Dennis turned around and realized Pietie was gone. As it turned out, Pietie got tired of training and decided to leave. He got in the elevator, pushed the button and headed down. The elevator stopped on the second floor, Pietie waited like a gentleman as another officer entered. They rode down together and got out at the parking lot. The officer headed to his patrol car as Pietie headed to his. He was tired of training and ready to get some real work done. He was well known and adored by everyone.


CINTA

Law Enforcement Agency: New Castle County Police Department
Dog's Name: Cinta   |  Breed: German Shepherd Dog (Czech Republic)  |  Handler: S/Cpl. Terrence O'Connor       Died: Dec. 18, 2007 Years of active service: 1996-2004
Commendations: Cinta placed second in a team competition at the Virginia Police Work Dog Association Triathlon. Throughout her career Cinta was responsible for the location of many wanted and missing persons and seized several Kilos of Cocaine and hundreds of thousands of dollars in currency.
Special Training/Unit: K9 Unit / Patrol and Narcotic Certifications through the North American Police Work Dog Association.

Cinta was affectionately nicknamed "The Fox." She was a red/black shepherd that was very beautiful. Guys at work made fun of me because I gave her a middle name of "Mae." If she was being scolded I would call her "Cinta Mae." On two separate occasions Cinta saved my butt by physically apprehending two drug dealers that attacked me. She was truly the best partner any officer could ask for. Cinta's favorite toy was a large rock or brick, she would come out of her kennel and go on her rock hunt when she was at home, I would find them scattered everywhere. I think the thing that pleased me most about her was that she was so affectionate. She was kind to everyone and everything, but if I told her it was time for work, she was ready big time. I will truly miss her. I can't help but compare all my dogs to her, she has set a standard that is hard for most dogs to reach.


RYKER

Law Enforcement Agency: New Castle County Police Department
Dog's Name: Ryker   |  Breed: German Shepherd   |  Handler: S/Cpl. Kathy "Rego" Breitigan
Birth/Death: October 18, 1997-July 2, 2010   |  Years of active service: 1994-2004
Commendations: 2001 VPWDA Iron Dog Competition, 2nd Place, 12 Annual Tuff Dog Competition, 2nd Place
Special Training/Unit: Patrol/Explosive Detection

Ryker was credited for numerous criminal apprehensions as well as many missing persons locations. Ryker also was credited for locating guns, bullets and spent shell casings from several crime scenes. Ryker was utilized extensively after the 911 attack on the World Trade Center and put in many hours of hard work.

Ryker was assigned to me the summer of 1999. We formed a special bond from the moment I brought him home. After 6 months of training in the area of patrol work and explosive detection, Ryker and I hit the street as the team K9-7. Ryker was an intimdating K9 and just having him present kept myself and other officers out of harm's way. We went on to have great success as a team until retiring him in 2004. As of May 2nd, 2010, Ryker was still enjoying playing and running for his tennis ball, acting like he was still a puppy.

After taking Ryker to the vet for his wellness check (where I was told he was aging gracefully), we headed home. After a car slammed on its brakes in front of us, Ryker tumbled a little but seemed ok. Two days later I noticed his leg was bothering him slightly. I took Ryker back to the vet just to make sure everything was ok. After taking bloodwork to be sure the medicine prescribed would be ok for him, I received a call from the vet telling me to bring him in immediatly for an ultrasound due to a low red blood count. That is a day I will never forget. I was told that Ryker had hemangiosarcoma, a very aggressive form of cancer which was on his spleen, liver and possibly heart. Surgery was an option but it had already spread and the outcome was generally bad. A little over two weeks went by when Ryker suddenly passed away at his residence with me by his side. I wasn't ready to lose my partner, best friend and companion and he will forever be in my thoughts. He will be greatly missed by all that had the joy and pleasure of being around him. I want to thank DPC for treating Ryker with care and dignity. He deserved every bit of that.