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K9 found dead in Roanoke Rapids

Sheriff's deputies in Halifax County are mourning the loss of a beloved K9. Dan, a 7-year-old German shepherd, was found dead Tuesday in Roanoke Rapids.

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ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. — 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.

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.



Beau Minnick, Reporter
Greg Hutchinson, Photographer
Minnie Bridgers, Web Editor

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