During a funeral that prompted a turnout of over 500 people, including numerous police officers and K9 teams from around the country, the deceased police dog received an award. His award is considered a very high honor and judging from this dog’s deeds in life and his untimely death, it was very much deserved.
The Hilton Hotel in Vancouver, Washington, on September 29 was the site of the funeral of the K9 dog named Ike, that died in the line of duty. Ike was a six-year-old patrol and drug detection dog for the Vancouver Police Department and his handler, Jack Anderson, was handed the dog’s award. Ike was awarded a purple heart due to his work and valor in the police department, and the brutal way in which his young life was ended.
Ike was gravely wounded in the line of duty after chasing a suspect and being stabbed. He died during emergency surgery as his body could no longer keep up with the horrific injuries he sustained. The dog is now buried in Anderson’s backyard.
Donations poured in after Ike’s story was made public. “Funds received have been directed into the Vancouver Police K-9 fund,” a police spokesperson said in a statement. These dogs are vital to police work and Officer Brain Viles, a K9 handler in the department said “They’re home with us on our time off. So we really become attached to our dogs. They’re part of our families. They’re part of our team when we go to work.” The handlers more often than not, adopt the dogs once the animal goes into retirement.
The loss of these dogs really hits their handlers, who become more like their parents, rather harshly. Ike’s death reminds us all of the bravery involved in certain occupations and makes it clear that compassion can be shown to animals as well. Ike earned his award, may he rest in peace.