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K9 found dead in Roanoke Rapids

Posted July 28, 2010
Updated July 29, 2010

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— Halifax County sheriff's deputies are mourning the loss of a beloved K9 found dead Tuesday in Roanoke Rapids.

“He was more than just a dog, he was my partner,” Cpl. Michael Almendarez said of Dan, a 7-year-old German shepherd.

Dan, who spent nights in a kennel on Almendarez's property, was last seen Sunday evening.  Almendarez said when he went to get Dan on Monday morning, the K9 was missing and the kennel gate was unlatched.

“It had to be a human to come and unlock this,” Almendarez explained.

After searching the area for Dan, Almendarez got a call Tuesday saying that a dog matching the animal’s description was at the Roanoke Animal Hospital.

“They cut the plastic on the (body) bag, and I could just tell by the fur that it was him,” Almendarez recalled.

The veterinarian told Almendarez that someone found the dog on a carport and took him to the animal hospital. The dog had died of blunt force trauma, likely caused by a vehicle, according to the veterinarian.

K9 dies after being let out of kennel K9 dies after being let out of kennel

For five years, Almendarez worked and cared for Dan, who had $10,000 worth of training. The K9 provided security for President Barack Obama's stop in Greenville during his election campaign and at college football and basketball games. He was also one of the few dogs in North Carolina certified at explosive detection.

“He was well liked throughout the community. My children loved him. He was a part of the family,” Almendarez said.

Almendarez is now trying to find out who let the dog out of his kennel and why.

“It was just a waste. To me, it was just a waste for him to have to go out like that. That was not the vision that I had for him. I just wanted him to retire peacefully and live out his days,” Almendarez said.

A memorial service for Dan is scheduled for Friday morning at Hockaday Funeral Home in Roanoke Rapids.

If you have any information concerning Dan's death, call the Halifax County Sheriff's Office at 252-583-8051.


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  • teachyourchildrenwell Aug 2, 2010

    anything ever come of this. I think the officer should be charged with neglect.

  • foxslynn Jul 30, 2010

    why was he living in a cage and not with the officer's family ? Why was there no lock on the cage ?

  • foxslynn Jul 30, 2010

    my brother trained two canines for the local police force...neither got a funeral home when they passed.....so absurd !!

  • foxslynn Jul 30, 2010

    Just who is paying for this dog funeral ????? There are several people who cannot afford a funeral ! I appreciate the expense that went into the training of this dog....taxpayers paid for that...a funeral home... REALLY ?

  • dlangston Jul 30, 2010

    weaver i dont go to every story on here and make comments like you do.... contrary ?

  • weaver52000 Jul 29, 2010

    dlangson, I have a life, just becuase I don't humanize animals doesn't mean I don't have a life. Maybe even the contrary.

  • lynettec Jul 29, 2010

    Hello! Really sorry for your loss. Dan was a beautiful dog, that's for sure. I recently had to have my Australian Shepherd, Smokie put down due to old age :~( Was wondering, was there a lock or clip on the latch to Dan's pen? Reason I'm asking, my Smokie learned at a young age how to flip the latch on the gate to her pen. It's very possible that Dan let himself out.

  • dlangston Jul 29, 2010

    weaver.....get a life!

  • teachyourchildrenwell Jul 29, 2010

    What is this rainbow bridge stuff? I have never heard of that.

  • teachyourchildrenwell Jul 29, 2010

    I saw the news story and sad to say, it seems like it was the officer's fault. You would think that a police dog would be in a cage with a lock on it and it was not. It could be that he forgot to latch the gate himself too. Finally, the dog could very easily open the gate. Could this be animal neglect on the cops part?