County Loses Three K-9s

SPOKANE — The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is down three four-legged deputies after three dogs passed away this year, cutting the sheriff’s K-9 unit in half.

Sheriff’s deputies say two dogs, Leif and Ajax, just wore out and the third – Logan – had a disease and couldn’t be saved.

“More than just a pet, it’s your partner, that dog is responsible for maintaining your safety and your responsible for it’s safety it’s particularly hard on handlers when they lose a dog,” Sergeant Dave Reagan of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said.

Leif, who was a tracking dog and whose handler was Deputy Steve Stipe, died on June 19th. Ajax, another tracking dog whose handler was Deputy John Cook, died April 21st.

The third dog, Logan, was an explosives dog whose handler was Deputy JP Melton. Logan died on May 27th. The Sheriff’s Office had hoped surgery would have helped save him but it didn’t.

With the loss of three K-9s Spokane Police dogs as well as K-9s from Fairchild Air Force Base are filling in the gaps.

Of the three dogs the sheriff’s office has lost this year Logan was the one that was in the high demand around the country. Logan was often called upon to do bomb sweeps at major stadiums or for politicians. Logan’s highest profile case was probably when he was called in to help in the D.C. Sniper case.

Leif and Ajax were older K-9s and were used extensively to help track criminals in Spokane County.

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich is moving to replace the dogs quickly and county commissioners discussed approving money for one of the new dogs Tuesday.

Federal authorities have paid for Logan’s replacement and that new dog is expected to land in Spokane County this weekend. Ajax’s replacement, Ekko, is at training and deputies are in Western Washington looking for Leif’s replacement.

The replacement K-9s will join the three dogs still serving on the force: Shrek, a tracking K-9; Gordy, a tracking and drug dog; and Kilo, who is also a drug dog.