Portage, MI – Portage Department of Public Safety (DPS) K9 Zorro died from an acute illness on Thursday night.
K9 Zorro, a Netherland-born German shepherd, primarily worked in narcotics detection, sniffing out methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine, MLive reported in 2017.
He also conducted building searches, tagged along on patrol, and attended public events and school presentations with his human partner, Portage Police Officer Jordan Wentworth.
“He’s quickly becoming our post popular officer,” Portage Police Lieutenant John Blue told MLive just months after K9 Zorro joined the department in November of 2016. “He’s constantly out there assisting officers in stops and searches.”
"The public support we have gotten has been amazing," Officer Wentworth said. "Everyone loves the dog. Kids especially love him."
From the beginning, Officer Wentworth viewed K9 Zorro as a part of his family, MLive reported.
“He’s a pretty easy dog to get along with,” the officer said.
The DPS announced K9 Zorro’s unexpected death in a Facebook post on Friday.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our K9 Zorro who succumbed to a sudden non duty illness last evening,” the post read. “Zorro served the City of Portage and surrounding jurisdictions bravely and admirably for three years.”
The DPS thanked the local animal health professionals who treated K9 Zorro with “professionalism and compassion,” and expressed appreciation for the law enforcement agencies who assisted with K9 Zorro’s ceremonial final call for service.
“Please keep Zorro’s partner, Ofc. Jordan Wentworth in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” the department said.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Portage Department of Public Safety and Officer Wentworth in the loss of K9 Zorro.