Ludington, MI – Mason County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) K9 Cash passed away unexpectedly on Monday afternoon, according to his department.
“It is with profound sadness I report to you that the Mason County Sheriff’s Office lost one of their own, and without a doubt, most beloved member late yesterday afternoon…with the unexpected passing of K-9 Cash,” Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole said in a press release on Tuesday.
K9 Cash, an eight-year-old Dutch Shepard, worked a “routine” Fourth of July weekend with his partner, MCSO Deputy Ken Baum, Sheriff Cole explained.
But at approximately 6 p.m. on Monday, Deputy Baum went to K9 Cash’s kennel, and found him dead inside.
Sheriff Cole said that “no foul play is suspected,” and that a necropsy will be performed to determine a cause of death.
“As one can imagine, the hearts of the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office ache this morning upon hearing the news of Cash’s sudden passing,” the sheriff said in the release. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to Ken and his family as they struggle during this time.”
K9 Cash joined the MCSO in 2013, and was due to retire next year.
He received numerous awards during his six-year career, and was recognized internationally after he helped save a missing four-year-old autistic boy in 2016.
After having tracked the child down over a mile away from where he disappeared, K9 Cash befriended the boy and led him back to rescuers.
K9 cash was awarded the National Association of Professional Canine Handlers Life Saving Award as a result of that incident, Sheriff Cole said.
In February of 2018, the heroic K9 tracked a wanted fugitive who had attacked a deputy during a traffic stop, and apprehended him in a swamp.
The following month, K9 Cash tracked a burglary suspect during an overnight search, and found him hiding inside a business. That suspect was sentenced to up to 50 years in prison.
K9 Cash and Deputy Baum had been partners since August of 2014, WPBN reported.
“Your canines are irreplaceable – they really are,” Sheriff Cole told WWTV. “They do all the things that the guys don’t want to do. They’re tracking through the swamps and mud and dirt and snow and checking buildings for bad guys.”
But the hardworking K9 also had a soft side.
“He could be kind when he wanted to be kind and then he could be kind of a jerk when he wanted to be a jerk and that’s what you look for in a police dog,” the sheriff explained. “One that can walk that line, and Cash was able to do that.”
K9 Cash was loved by everyone in the HCSO and the community.
“He was by far our most favorite officer, our deputy here at the office,” Sheriff Cole confirmed. “Everybody loved Cash.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mason County Sheriff’s Office and Deputy Baum in the loss of K9 Cash.