A retired Puyallup police dog died Thursday morning, after he enjoyed about two years as a house pup with his former handler’s family.
German Shepherd Daro, 12, died peacefully in his sleep, the department said in a release.
He was picked by former Officer Douglas Kitts, also retired, to join the force in October 2003.
Daro ended his career in July 2012, and he and Kitts lived together in their retirements.
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The police dog was stabbed by a suspect in 2010, but that didn’t stop him from disarming the man. Daro healed and was back to work within weeks.
Daro and Kitts helped investigate following the fatal shooting of Lakewood police Sgt. Mark Renninger, and officers Tina Griswold, Gregory Richards and Ronald Owens in 2009. The duo tracked a scent from the door of the Lakewood coffee shop where the shootings happened, to a car wash where a person matching the shooter’s description got into a truck and sped off. A Seattle police officer later fatally shot the man who killed the Lakewood officers.
The Puyallup police dog apprehended roughly 200 criminals during his career.
“K-9 Daro had truly lived up to his name (the Romanian word for gift),” the agency said in the statement. “He was a ‘gift’ to Officer Kitts, the Puyallup Police Department and the community he served.”