A K-9 hailed as a Hometown Hero passed away last week after fighting numerous medical issues as announced by Waynesville Chief of Police Dan Cordova. He actually was forced into retirement in 2015 due to seizures.

K-9 Sgt. Oxx ended his watch September 8 while his handler, Cpl. Travis Shaffer was by his side, according to Cordova.

Sgt. Oxx was the first K-9 officer of the Waynesville Police Department. He was purchased from Little Rock K-9 Academy through a gift from Billy Jean and Joe Walker, in 2009, creating the department’s K-9 unit, according to Daily Guide’s report.

“Through Ms. Walker’s donation, in addition to the generous support from our community, the cost of the dog, equipment, and supplies were covered,” Cordova wrote in his announcement about Oxx’s passing.

Through Oxx’s service to the community and police department, he was chosen as a Hometown Hero and was featured on the cover of Daily Guide’s Hometown Heroes special edition last year in honor of his retirement.

While retired, Oxx enjoyed time with his handler’s children as a family pet.

“Kids love on him and he has a great temperament, but he’d floor you if you were a suspect,” Shaffer said.

In an interview for Hometown Heroes, Shaffer said that Oxx was “a good judge of character,” behaving very well with children and enjoying their company, but he’s different with a suspect. He’s known for his personality as one of the best and also for having one of the softest hearts of any police canine. He allowed hundreds of little hands to pet him and crawl all over him while taking part in many countless demonstrations for different organizations.

Throughout his service, Sgt. Oxx had numerous contributions including hundreds of narcotic arrests, criminal apprehensions, and suspect tracks. He was honored with a commendation from the American Police Hall of Fame for his accomplishments during his years of service, with his role in community policing considered the greatest.

“Throughout his years, he participated in countless demonstrations for schools, churches, scouts, and other organizations and allowed hundreds of little hands to pet and crawl all over him. It was truly amazing to see such a strong, fierce protector submit himself and give us a small glimpse of how gentle he truly was and how big of a heart he had,” Cordova said.

Chief Cordova said that WPD plans to hold a memorial service for Oxx that will be open to the public to honor his life and service. The Daily Guide will publish details when they are available.

For Chief Cordova, losing a K-9 officer is as devastating as losing a human officer. And as Sgt. Oxx had sacrificed his life for WPD and the community, he will surely be missed.

Photo from Waynesville Police Department