Photo credit: West Hartford Police Department
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — Reign, a retired West Hartford dog suffering from severe degenerative back disease, was euthanized Wednesday after a final ride in a cruiser to the police station.
Thirty officers stood at attention outside the station as Reign passed by in a cruiser. The dog, 14, was euthanized at 6 p.m. in the back yard of his last handler, Det. Rosario Savastra. Savastra and his wife, Andrea, were at the dog’s side when he died, Lt. Eric Rocheleau said Thursday.
“K9 Reign will be missed by his WHPD family,” Rocheleau said. The dog, born in 2002, trained in Holland and bought by West Hartford in 2006, retired in 2012 but was a frequent visitor to the station afterward.
Reign was certified as a level III IPO, the highest status a service dog can have, according to Rocheleau. He said Reign and Savastra were a very successful team.
Reign located burglars in buildings, most notably a burglar hiding inside the ceiling of the Colt building in Hartford; made countless drug finds, including a hidden drug trap inside a vehicle that yielded several bundles of heroin and a stolen handgun; and tracked down countless suspects and missing persons.
The dog also apprehended several people and performed a successful bark and hold of a suspect wanted for a violent domestic violence incident, Rocheleau said.
“K9 Reign was a one of a kind K9 who knew when it was time to work and when it was time to play. After retiring in 2012, K9 lived with his last handler protecting family and home time. As expected, Reign has also fulfilled this duty with distinction,” Rocheleau said.
___ (c)2017 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) Visit The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) at www.courant.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
SOURCE: THE HARTFORD COURANT (HARTFORD, CONN.) & Officer.com