Pittsburgh, PA – Pittsburgh Police K9 Loki died while he was playing with his trainer on July 7.
K9 Loki was a bloodhound puppy who had just joined the Pittsburgh police to be trained as a human locator.
KDKA reported that K9 Loki celebrated his 10-week birthday on Friday and woke up spunky and happy on Saturday morning. Then he suddenly became very ill.
“I got a call from my K9 trainer Bill Watts. He was playing with Loki this morning and Loki was doing fine and all of a sudden he just collapsed,” said Pittsburgh Police Sergeant Sean Duffy, the K9 Unit supervisor.
K9 Loki was rushed to an emergency veterinary hospital and diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia. He was given oxygen and antibiotics, and he was sedated, according to KDKA.
Aspiration pneumonia is a condition that results when a dog’s lungs become inflamed as the result of inhalation of food, water, vomit, or any other type of liquid or solid, according to WTAE.
At 2:45 p.m., the puppy suddenly died.
“They were going to watch him for two days. And within an hour, he declined rapidly,” Sgt. Duffy said. “It is a tragedy. We worked a long time to get Loki here. And we finally got him here and finally started his training and this happens.”
K9 Loki was cremated and the department held a memorial service for him. The handler who would have been his partner, K9 Officer Kevin Merkel, will keep the puppy’s ashes.
Sgt. Duffy said the entire police department was mourning the loss of the puppy who never got a chance to grow into his important role.
“He was adorable. We’re going to miss him so much,” he said.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and their K9 Unit in the loss of K9 Loki.