Owning a pet can bring you some of the greatest joys and deepest sorrows in life. Pets lavish you with unconditional love and ridiculous antics, they are exercise buddies, they pull some people out of deep depression … but the sad truth is that their lives must come to an end, usually much earlier than we want.
Sometimes, we have to decide when that end will be. It’s never an easy decision, but an owner who loves and cares for their pet knows when their pet is no longer able to enjoy life.
Timo was a K9 officer with the Indianapolis Police Department. A Dutch shepherd, he served alongside Officer Hartman for ten years.
According to a department advisory, throughout their career, the two of them detected millions of dollars and thousands of pounds of drugs, including Methamphetamine and cocaine.
Timo won various awards for his impressive capabilities, including placing in competitions such as ScentLogix Narcotic and Narcotic Vehicle Interiors.
Unfortunately, the one thing the 12-year-old, highly skilled dog couldn’t beat was cancer. At first, he was treated, but the surgery wasn’t enough and the department was left with a difficult decision.
“Early in 2018 Timo was diagnosed with Cancer,” the department’s notice read. “After surgery and healing, the cancer returned quickly, causing Timo pain and suffering.
“Timo was a great asset to the Indianapolis Community, Narcotics Detection Team, and will be terribly missed by his handler and fellow officers.
“There is a special bond formed between the handler’s and their K9 partners. A bond that makes it difficult for one to operate without the other.
“Sending a beloved K9 over the rainbow bridge is never easy, but is easier to accept knowing the pain and suffering is over. Timo’s handler and the IMPD appreciates the communities outpouring of support, thoughts, and prayers.”
Many people have commented on the video, saying that the dog looked fine and accusing the department of putting the dog down too soon — but if you’ve had a dog who had cancer, you know they can hide their pain and mask their suffering.
They can put on a good show even while they’re in extreme distress. Plus, the department did pay for surgery earlier this year, and it was ultimately ineffective.
A dog like Timo is a valuable asset and a close companion for his human officer, and yet some people are questioning the decision to have him put down without knowing the bond between man and dog, the dedication the department has to its K9 officers or the dog’s real condition.
Others who saw the video posted their condolences and said that they’d been in similar situations recently.
“I had to put my retired K-9 partner down a couple of weeks ago,” David Holloway commented. “Glad to see Timo get such a great send off, service dogs are under appreciated and give a lot. He is now without pain and waiting patiently for the time he can be reunited with his family. RIP big dog.”
“We, in Chicago, lost one recently as well,” Tom Carley wrote. “It was emotional. Bless Timo as he crosses the Rainbow Bridge.”
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