BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — A necropsy is planned for a K-9 who died last week while on duty for Southern California's Kern County Sheriff’s Office, officials said.
Deputies responded Aug. 18 to a report of a shooting in Lamont, just southeast of Bakersfield, the sheriff's office said.
A deputy and his K-9 partner searched for two suspects in a vineyard and shortly afterward the dog “began showing signs of distress,” a sheriff's office statement said.
“The K-9 handler immediately returned to his vehicle and the K-9 was rushed to a local emergency animal hospital where he later passed away,” the statement said.
The dog, named Hannes, was a two-year-old Belgian Malinois who had been with his handler since March 2021.
A necropsy was ordered to determine the cause of death, the sheriff's office said.
The K-9's handler, Deputy Robert Fisher, wrote in a statement that Hannes was a loyal, fearless public servant who “answered every call without hesitation.”
“At demonstrations you were the kids' favorite, the social pup that would place your paws on my chest and want to be the center of attention. At home you stole a place in all of our hearts that will never be filled,” Fisher wrote.
One of two suspects connected to the reported shooting was taken into custody. The K-9 was not used in the apprehension, officials said. No shooting victim was found.