Local News

Hillsborough police K-9 to retire due to medical condition

Posted November 9, 2017 2:22 p.m. EST


— A Hillsborough Police Department K-9 officer's tenure has come to an end.

Viper, an 8-year-old scent-tracking, suspect-locating police dog, has developed an unidentified medical condition that makes it impossible for him to walk long distances or to work, according to the department.

“What these dogs are capable of is really amazing,” said officer Mike Toellen, who began serving as Viper’s handler in the fall of 2015 due to Cpl. Mike Foushee’s retirement. “What they can do with their nose, the smallest scent they can find, it’s something to see.”

In retirement, Viper will continue to live with Toellen’s family, where he has developed a strong bond with Toellen’s young son, Jaxon.

Viper joined the department in early 2012, and will be recognized for his service at the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners meeting on Nov. 13.