ST. GEORGE — Three days after assisting in the rescue of two injured hikers in Kingman, Arizona, a Police K-9 has died as a result of heat exhaustion suffered in the line of duty while tracking the hikers.
K-9 Amigo, a three-year old Belgian Malinois, and his counterparts responded to a 911 call Wednesday placed by hikers needing to be rescued from the top of a mountain range near White Cliffs, according to a statement issued by the Kingman Police Department.
The two hikers were rescued and transported to the Kingman Regional Medical Center to be treated for minor injuries, police said.
Following the rescue, K-9 Amigo began showing signs of heat exhaustion and was immediately taken to a local veterinary clinic. Later that evening, Amigo was transported to the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care in Las Vegas, Nevada, for advanced care.
Initially, Amigo began showing signs of improvement, police said. However, the K-9 officer died Saturday morning.
“This is a very sad occasion,” Kingman Chief of Police Robert J. DeVries said in a statement. “The bond between our handlers and their dogs is very strong and the officer is devastated by the loss. While they are working dogs, these animals also become a close and important part of the individual police officer’s family as well as the rest of the KPD family. Clearly, we have lost one of our own.”
Amigo had been serving with the Kingman Police Department for one year.
Amigo was certified in narcotics detection, tracking and handler protection. According to the Police Department, the K-9 officer is credited with numerous narcotics seizures including the seizure of 50 kilograms of cocaine in February.
Officers drove to Las Vegas, Nevada, Monday to bring Amigo home to rest. When officers reached Kingman City limits, Amigo’s body was escorted by law enforcement to Cerbat Cliffs Animal Hospital where he will remain until he’s laid to rest.
In accordance with national protocol in a K-9 line of duty death, the Police Department said it will host a memorial service next week with details to follow.
The Kingman Police Department posted the following statement on its Facebook page:
It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that we have lost another hero, from the Kingman Police Department in Arizona; may God bless you for your service to your community, K-9 Amigo, and we pray that He will bring every ounce of peace, comfort, and strength to your partner, Officer Simonsen, along with the rest of your family and co-workers left behind.
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