Columbus, OH – Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) K9 Riddick died on Oct. 21, after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.
K9 Riddick, an eight-year-old Belgian Malinois, first began acting abnormally on Oct. 18, his partner, Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy James McCoy told WCMH.
“In the middle of the night, he got up and went out and slept on the couch, which was weird — he never did that,” Deputy McCoy explained. “Me and my wife got up in the morning and went to the gym, came back and he was still on the couch, so I was like, ‘What the heck?'”
Deputy McCoy immediately took K9 Riddick to the veterinarian, where they received an unexpected diagnosis.
“Over the last three days, Riddick had suffered from complications related to a sudden diagnosis of cancer in and around his heart,” Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin said in a press release.
“We would like to thank the staff of MedVet for all of their hard work over the last few days to try and save Riddick,” Sheriff Baldwin continued. “Unfortunately, he had a very aggressive form of cancer that would not have benefited from further treatment.”
Deputy McCoy said that making the decision to humanely euthanize his K9 partner was “heartbreaking,” WCMH reported.
“I didn’t want him to suffer,” he said.
K9 Riddick was surrounded by his co-workers, family and Deputy McCoy when he passed away on Oct. 21, Sheriff Baldwin said in the release.
“I was hugging him when he took his last breath,” Deputy McCoy told WCMH.
His human partner draped his body with an American flag moments later.
“He was an officer, a partner, a friend and a loved one,” Deputy McCoy said. “He helped protect and serve the residents of Franklin County.”
The deputy likened K9 Riddick to one of his children.
“Some people just consider him a tool,” he told WCMH. “He was more than a tool. He was my partner. He was basically like another kid. I didn’t go anywhere without him.”
Sheriff Baldwin praised K9 Riddick’s five years of “exemplary service” as a dual purpose K9.
“Over the years Riddick aided Deputies in finding large amounts of illegal narcotics, as well as assisting in the capture of multiple criminals,” the sheriff said.
K9 Riddick spent his entire law enforcement career working with Deputy McCoy.
“He loved everybody,” Deputy McCoy told WCMH. “He could be nice and then if I said the magical word, then it was like – game on…He was just awesome.”
The department said it will hold a private memorial service for K9 Riddick.
“He will be missed by his handler, Deputy McCoy and our entire FCSO family,” the sheriff said.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Deputy McCoy in the loss of K9 Riddick.