Swartz Creek, MI – Genesee County Sheriff’s Office K9 Rocky died in the line of duty on Oct. 2, when he swallowed a foreign object without his handler’s knowledge.
The duo had just completed a training exercise, when K9 Rocky ingested the object “unbeknownst to our deputies,” Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell said in a Facebook post.
The object became lodged in K9 Rocky’s throat, and cut off his ability to breathe.
“Deputies acted quickly, rushing the K-9 to a medical facility for emergency treatment, however efforts to revive Rocky were not successful,” Sheriff Pickell wrote.
K9 Rocky, a three-year-old German Shepherd, had served his department for one year, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
He was trained in explosives detection, and also “assisted in tracking…missing children and persons,” the sheriff said.
While out at community events, K9 Rocky enjoyed interacting with the public, and was “very approachable and playful,” he added. “Rocky served our office admirably.”
“Our thoughts are with Deputy [Shawn] Sordyl, Rocky’s trainer and handler, as well as his family who provided a loving home for the K-9 the past several years,” Sheriff Pickell said. “This is a tremendously sad loss for not only our office, but for all who had interaction with our K-9 team.”
On Thursday, Deputy Sordyl posted Facebook photos of a memorial box that was built to hold K9 Rocky’s ashes.
The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office will honor K9 Rocky’s “service and dedication” to the community during their annual awards banquet, the sheriff said.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and Deputy Shawn Sordyl in the loss of K9 Rocky.