Puyallup’s police force is mourning one of its own.
Chance, a 6-year-old German shepherd who worked as a tracking dog, died unexpectedly Tuesday during a routine veterinary procedure.
He’d gone in for treatment of a back ailment common to his breed, and was sedated while undergoing an MRI, said police Capt. Dave McDonald.
Chance worked with the same handler, Officer Gary Shilley, his entire five-year police career.
“Chance was a very good dog,” McDonald said. “His death is a loss to the department, his handler and the community.”
The department has two other police dogs, including Daro, a German shepherd who’s retiring this month after a career spanning more than nine years.
Daro was stabbed in the leg and cut on the head in 2010 by an armed suspect he was tracking. He quickly recovered and returned to duty.
“These dogs are there to capture the person being pursued and to help protect their officer. They are a valuable asset to us,” said City Councilman Steve Vermillion, who mentioned Chance’s death during Tuesday’s council meeting.
“It’s a loss to the department, and I can’t help but think of the officer who bonded with him all those years,” he said.