Suspected Cause of Drug Sniffing Dog’s Death…Ingesting Meth

Kym Kemp / Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 @ 5:52 a.m. / News

Mendocino County Sheriff Press Release:

On August 20th, 2012, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) K-9 “Morgan” died at a facility operated by the department’s contract K-9 trainer.  He was engaged in narcotics detection training with his handler at the time he began to shows signs of distress.  In the time it took for his handler to describe the animal’s symptoms to a veterinarian, Morgan had passed away.  It is suspected that he died from an accidental ingestion of methamphetamine.

Morgan, a 15 month old German Shepherd that had been imported from the Czech Republic, went into service with the department on February 12, 2012 and was assigned to Deputy Sheriff Joey DeMarco. He was beginning trained for patrol work and detection of methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, cocaine and MDMA. Deputy DeMarco is one of the most experienced K-9 handlers in the department and has been a leader in the MCSO K-9 Unit since its inception over 20 years ago. Morgan was not only a part of the MCSO family, but a treasured member of the DeMarco family as well. Deputy DeMarco is coping with the loss given how fast he bonded with his K-9 partner.

Morgan is the first MCSO K-9 Deputy to die in either a training accident or field deployment since the origination of the Mendocino MCSO K-9 Program in the 1980s.  The training methods used had been in place for over twenty-five years without incident.  Sheriff Allman has ordered a review of MCSO K-9 training protocols and is committed to ensuring the safety of our service dogs.

Morgan will be remembered as courageous, loving and loyal.

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