Dogs go through intense and exhaustive training to become K9s. They’re taught to be bold and to follow their handler’s commands, even when that throws them into the line of fire.
Chucky was a K9 deputy who lost his life by doing his job last month. The Belgian Malinois was struck down in his prime, shot and killed just a day before his fifth birthday.
It all started with 38-year-old Matthew Reyes Mireles leading police on a chase that eventually went through Bexar County, Texas, on the night of Jan. 25. A traffic stop turned into a car chase, which turned to Mireles walking around and shooting at authorities.
After shooting at police several times and aiming at himself, people around him, and a helicopter, authorities decided to send Chucky to intervene. The K9 managed to get a hold of Mireles, but was shot several times and died.
In many cases, a bulletproof vest would have protected a K9 from stabbing and gunshot wounds, but Chucky was not wearing his at the time. The sheriff’s office explained why he was not wearing one.
“Chucky does have an issued vest, but was not able to wear it at the time,” they said, according to KSAT. “The vest is not able to be worn at all times, due to overheating concerns and physical fatigue on the dog. It is intended to be placed on the dog in the event of a pre-planned operation.”
“This was not a pre-planned event, due to the deadly actions of the suspect placing the general public and officers on scene in danger of imminent death or serious bodily injury.”
“The K-9 handler who was actively engaged in pursuing the armed suspect did not have an opportunity to place the vest on Chucky as doing so would have continued to place the public in imminent danger. Immediate actions had to be taken to ensure the suspect was stopped quickly.”
Chucky made the ultimate sacrifice, but because of it, fewer people were put in harm’s way. An elaborate funeral was held for the dog, including a procession, a church service and a committal service.
K9 Officer Chucky’s handler, Deputy Kevin Rasmussen, spoke at the funeral, as did his son, Joseph.
“Chucky was a part of my family,” Joseph Rasmussen said, according to Fox San Antonio. “I loved him. I helped my dad train him and of course, my dad made me pick up his poop. And when I say poop, Chucky could poop and poop a lot!”
“God teaches us to forgive,” he added. “I forgive the guy who took Chucky from me, but Chucky will never be forgotten… He is a hero.”
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