Butler, PA – Butler Police Department K9 Gunner died from irreparable internal medical issues on Dec. 28, 2018.
K9 Gunner began exhibiting signs that he was feeling ill the night before, so his handler, Butler Police Lieutenant Brian Grooms, took him to a veterinary hospital, Butler Radio reported.
When the doctor determined that K9 Gunner’s medical complications could not be successfully treated, the decision for humane euthanasia was made.
The 7-year-old K9 joined the department in 2012, Butler Police Chief Bob O’Neill told the Butler Eagle.
“Their potential on a scene even outweighs what they can do,” Chief O'Neill said. “Just their presence is like having four extra officers on hand.”
K9 Gunner made his last arrest on Christmas Eve, according to the chief.
He was the department’s only K9.
Chief O’Neill described K9 Gunner and Lt. Grooms as “best friends,” and said that the lieutenant is mourning the loss of his four-legged partner, according to Butler Radio.
“We are thankful and grateful to Gunner for his years of service to the Butler City Police and the Butler City community as a whole,” Chief O’Neill said. “He will be sorely missed.”
“This is obviously a sad time for the department, the community, and certainly Lt. Grooms,” Butler Mayor Ben Smith said in a Facebook post. “My personal thanks goes out to Lt. Grooms for the excellent job he did in caring for, training, and working alongside Gunner.”
“I ask that you keep Lt. Grooms in your thoughts and prayers, and that you think fondly on all the good that Gunner did for our community,” Smith wrote.
The department is hoping to raise the funds to bring two K9s onto the force, but the effort may not succeed without donations from community members to supplement the agency’s regular budget, the Butler Eagle reported.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Butler Police Department and Lt. Grooms in the loss of K9 Gunner.
Rest easy, hero. Your life mattered.