Hero Down: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's K9 Chop Dies After Medical Emergency
Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office (SBCSO) K9 Chop died on Jan. 22, after he suffered a medical emergency and was rushed into emergency surgery.
The two-year-old German shepherd was born in Germany, and completed his initial training at Inglis Police Dog Academy in Oxnard, the BCSO said in a press release.
He was donated to the SBCSO by Reece and Christine Duca, who named him after one of their close friends.
In 2017, a K9 team apprehended two suspects who were hiding beneath the Ducas’ home – a frightening event that spurred the couple’s desire to give back to the SBCSO’s K9 program.
“We had a chance to see what these animals can do in a real-world situation,” Reece Duca told Noozhawk. “You realize that the combination of these well-trained handlers and extraordinary dogs can do things to protect the community that neither can do by themselves.”
“It’s an extraordinary resource for our community and makes it safer for all of us,” he added.
K9 Chop and his human partner, SBCSO Deputy Shane Moore, successfully completed 200 hours of intense training in 2019, the department said.
K9 Chop was trained in building searches, human scent detection, handler protection, and apprehension, Noozhawk reported.
“It was apparent in his young career that he loved going to work," SBCSO spokesperson Raquel Zick told the Lompoc Record. "His mere presence caused the surrender and apprehension of many offenders."
The duo served their community for 11 months prior to K9 Chop’s sudden death.
“He is easygoing,” Deputy Moore told Noozhawk in June of 2019. “I lucked out with him. He is friendly and accepting of the process and the work. He enjoys it.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and Deputy Moore in the loss of K9 Chop.