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Abbotsford police dog retires after helping to find missing people, criminals and evidence
Published Friday, August 30, 2019 1:40PM PDT Last Updated Sunday, September 1, 2019 6:30PM PDT
Duke was always destined for police work.
Not only has he chased criminals and found evidence over the course of his career, he's also tracked missing people and once received a commendation for locating two deceased people who had been buried by an avalanche.
But Duke isn't a typical member of the police force – he's an eight-year-old German shepherd who was bred specifically for the work. Now, his years of service are coming to an end.
Duke was born in Alberta as part of the RCMP breeding program. From a young age, he displayed courage and confidence and was trained in many different speciality profiles.
Duke started service in October 2013 and worked as Sgt. Chris Scott's partner with the Abbotsford Police Department. His last day of service is Saturday.
"He is trained in all aspects of general duty police dog work such as tracking, searching, criminal apprehension, narcotics and obedience," says a statement from Abbotsford police.
"Additionally, he was active with the emergency response team, the crowd control unit and is one of only six police dogs in the province trained to search avalanches."
On one occasion, Duke helped with a difficult track of a heavily armed suspect who was wanted for a home invasion, robbery and aggravated assault. The suspect had fled on foot into a wooded area in Surrey and during the incident, Duke tracked him for more than 25 minutes in extreme conditions.
The suspect fought violently to escape, using weapons, striking, kicking and biting Duke in an attempt to get him to let go. But Duke held on until the suspect could be apprehended.
When not on duty, Duke's favourite activities are swimming and playing fetch. He will now retire on an acreage in Abbotsford with his handler's family.
"He will enjoy long walks guarding the property, chasing his ball and being an excellent companion," the Abbotsford Police Department says. "Duke will continue to be involved with mentoring future K9 recruits and being a good role model."