LOGAN, Utah, Aug. 10, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Storm, a 2-year-old K-9 officer with the Cache County Sheriff’s Office, has died.
“It is with deep regret we announce of the unexpected passing of our K-9 partner, Storm,” the CCSO said in an announcement on Friday.
Storm was a Malinois-breed dog that was added last year to the law enforcement agency.
“On Tuesday night, Storm attended a public event with his handler where they gave demonstrations of their skills and ability as partners,” the statement says. “Wednesday morning, our K-9 deputy noticed a change in the behavior of Storm, and he was taken to a local veterinarian to be examined.”
The vet detected fluid around the dog’s lungs, and advised that Storm be taken to another vet in Salt Lake City. A chest tube was inserted to drain the fluid, and chest X-rays were taken.
“It was determined that Storm had inhaled or ingested foxtail weeds. Surgery was scheduled to remove the infected areas as well as remove any other foxtail weeds. During the surgery, Storm passed away.”
Foxtail weeds have barbed heads, and can work themselves into any part of an animal’s body, the statement said.
“The danger with foxtail are the seeds do not break down once inside the body, and can cause massive infections,” it said. “Both veterinarians said our dog handler caught this in the early stages, and were optimistic Storm would be able to return to duty. It was very unexpected circumstances that he passed away during surgery.”
A memorial service will be planned soon for Storm, the statement said.
In addition, CCSO officials want to make pet owners aware of the dangers of exposure to a common weed, the statement said.
This is the second K-9 loss for the department since July of 2017, when K-9 Endy was left in a hot department vehicle and died. His handler, officer Jason Whittier, was charged with animal cruelty, and sentenced to public service and probation. He was also relieved of his law enforcement duties.