In Utah, a police K-9 was shot earlier this month while apprehending a fugitive. A specially designed casket will be used to honor the dog next week. It includes a portrait of the dog and the American flag.
Rawtin Garage, an auto body and paint shop in the area, was asked by police if they could customize the coffin for Hondo. He received training in Europe and then the seven-year-old Belgian Malinois served as a member of the Harriman City Police Department beginning in 2015.
Utah’s KSL-TV reports that Johnny Ward, the co-owner of the shop said, “We had a lot of pressure. I think the call came in Wednesday night. And they said, ‘Hey, we’re bringing in a casket tomorrow morning.’”
It took 24 hours for the shop to finish the casket and they did not charge for their work. Typically, a two month waiting period is necessary for their services.
“It’s hard work, but there’s an incredible sense of satisfaction,” Ward told the station according to FoxNews. “This dog really is a hero.”
“In a weird way, it was kind of a spiritual experience,” Eccles, the artist who drew the dogs face by hand, told KSL-TV. “You feel like, by the time you’re done, you really got to know Hondo.”
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Herriman Police K9 Hondo, who was killed in the line of duty last night while assisting the U.S. Marshal’s Office in apprehending a dangerous fugitive.— Herriman PD (@HerrimanPolice) February 14, 2020
A press conference will be held today at 3pm at the Herriman City Hall pic.twitter.com/CuABvAmipy
Hondo assisted his partner, Sgt. Ben Ricks, with over 100 felony arrests. He was ranked near the top of the best K-9’s in the state of Utah, and according to Carr, he placed first in international trials in 2018.
The police chief had the following to say at a February 14 press conference: “PSD Hondo was a true warrior then his actions ensured that his loving friend and partner Ben [Ricks] would able to return home to his wife, children, and HPD family. We mourn the loss of our member of our family but we remember the sacrifice.”