Elmore, AL – Alabama Department of Corrections (DOC) K9 Jake died in the line of duty on July 20, after he was exposed to a substance that is believed to have been synthetic marijuana.
K9 Jake was conducting a search inside the Staton Correctional Facility on July 18, when he alerted on a powdery substance inside B Dorm, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
The six-year-old Belgian Malinois immediately collapsed and fell unconscious, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.
Medical staff at the prison performed CPR and established an IV before K9 Jake was rushed to the Auburn University Veterinary Clinic.
He developed pneumonia the following day, and his condition continued to deteriorate until he passed away on July 20.
The toxic substance K9 Jake was exposed to was preliminarily identified as synthetic marijuana, but additional testing is underway.
It is believed that the five-year veteran-of-the-force suffered a severe allergic reaction after sniffing the powdery substance.
DOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn said that K9 Jake may have saved others’ lives by finding the drugs before anyone else was hurt, The Birmingham News reported.
“With Jake’s training and ability to find the narcotic, he saved other lives by giving his own in the line-of-duty,’’ Commissioner Dunn explained. “Jake’s heroism and ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten.”
“This is a difficult time for our ADOC family and especially for Sgt. Jones and those assigned to our K9 Bureau who worked with Jake on a daily basis,” the commissioner continued. “I extend our deepest condolences for the loss of this noble K9 who honorably served the State of Alabama and for ultimately giving his life while protecting the public.”
DOC Investigations and Intelligence Division Director Arnaldo Mercado said that K9 Jake “was one of our best,” and offered his condolences to K9 Jake’s partner and the entire DOC family.
Director Mercado said that investigators are working to determine who was responsible for having the illegal contraband inside the prison, and noted that any suspects they identify will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“I was saddened to hear that one of the Corrections K9s, Jake, lost his life over the weekend,” Alabama Governor Kay Ivey told the Montgomery Advertiser on Monday. “This K9 died in service to public safety and in service to the state.”
“Jake is an example of the goodness, the loyalty and service that our four-legged friends provide,” Ivey continued. “We certainly lost a loyal companion.”
K9 Jake served beside his partner, DOC Sergeant Quintin Jones, for his entire career, the department said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
Sgt. Jones described him as a “loyal member” of the K9 Bureau, who had an “impeccable record in counter-drug operations,” the agency said.
K9 Jake will be laid to rest with full honors on July 30.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Alabama Department of Corrections and Sgt. Jones in the loss of K9 Jake.