Alexandria, VA – Fairfax County Police K9 Doby died in the line of duty on Feb. 22, when he collapsed as he was chasing an armed robbery suspect.
The incident occurred in the Mount Vernon District on Arlington Drive, after K9 Doby and his partner responded to the scene to help apprehend the suspect, the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) said in a press release.
The two-year-old German Shepherd mix was actively tracking the subject when he suddenly collapsed onto the ground and stopped breathing, WSET reported.
K9 Doby’s human partner immediately administered CPR, then rushed him to the Regional Veterinary Referral Center in Springfield, where he was pronounced dead, the department said.
The young K9’s exact cause of death is unknown, and results from a necropsy have not been returned to the department as of yet.
"When I got the call, obviously the first emotion was shock, because you realize the dog is only two years old,” Fairfax County Police Sergeant Todd Sweeney told WSET. “Things like this aren't supposed to happen to dogs of that age.”
“And then, of course, my next thought was for his handler. What was he going through? What he must be feeling…The shock, the sadness, the emotions," Sgt. Sweeney continued. "It's hard to really quantify how attached you become to them…It’s something you only can truly understand if you’ve done it.”
Not knowing what caused the promising young K9’s death has been especially difficult for K9 Doby’s handler, as well as the rest of the department.
"It's just the waiting game," Sgt. Sweeney explained. "We can speculate on what may have caused his death, but until we get those results, we just don't know what it was."
K9 Doby, who was born in Hungary, joined the FCPD in March of 2018, according to the agency’s press release.
He began actively working on cases in August of last year.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fairfax County Police Department in the loss of K9 Doby.