A sheriff’s office is mourning the sudden and unexpected loss of one of its working K9s. According to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, eight-year-old Gus died unexpectedly on Tuesday afternoon. As detailed in a news release, Gus was on duty with his handler on Tuesday when he “dropped and couldn’t hold his head up.” The stricken dog was not tracking anyone at the time.
Deputies rushed the ailing dog to Murrayville Veterinary Clinic for emergency care. Though his blood work did not reveal any issues, he took a sudden turn for the worse and passed away.
Gus’ body is being sent to the University of Georgia for a necropsy. Sheriff’s Office Uniform Patrol Division Captain Brad Rounds has expressed concern that Gus may have been a victim of toxic blue-green algae. The dog had cooled off in a pond after tracking a suspect recently, and with the rash of dog deaths tied to algae blooms, Rounds is concerned that Gus could have been unknowingly exposed.
On August 14, Gus’ body was transferred to Little & Davenport Funeral Home, where deputies said their good-byes. The sheriff’s office writes:
Gus’ handler and companion Jeremy Prickett was on hand with family members and other K9 handlers in the department. To the Pricketts and handlers, Gus was more than a member of the department, he was family.
Sheriff Gerald Couch commented on what Gus meant to the community, the department, and his family:
“Gus and all of the dogs at the Hall County Sheriff’s Office serve the community admirably, but they’re so much more than that. They’re partners with their handlers, loved companions at home and friends of the public at outreach events. Gus was all of these things. He’s apprehended countless suspects over the years, and was an amazing dog. Everyone in the department will miss him, but for his handler, Deputy Prickett, and the Prickett family, the loss will be greater.”
Gus was supposed to retire soon – a new dog, Bella, has been in training to take his place. Rounds stated, “Bella has some big shoes to fill.”
The sheriff’s office commended Gus – acknowledging the tremendous hole he leaves behind:
“Gus had an excellent record of service, offered friendship to anyone who approached and served as an extraordinary ambassador for the agency. To say he was a good dog is an understatement.”
Rest in peace Gus.
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