Laying a hero to rest: Michigan K9 responds to his final call


Michigan – Losing an officer is never easy. The same goes when that officer is a canine devoting its life to a career in law enforcement. 

This week we’ve learned that Ionia County Sheriff’s Office K9 Dinar has passed away rather unexpectedly after being diagnosed with an illness stemming from an issue with his liver. 

Laying a hero to rest: Michigan K9 responds to his final call
K9 Dinar served the ICSO for six years.


According to the ICSO, Dinar, who would’ve had his 9th birthday on February 16, was diagnosed with the illness just days before it took his life.

They say that on January 28, K9 Dinar’s handler ICSO Sergeant Dion Sower took him to the vet after he displayed signs of discomfort.

According to the Ionia Sentinel-Standard, the vet performed tests and concluded that the K9 officer was suffering from a liver-related illness. After attempting to try and improve his condition unsuccessfully, Sgt. Sower and other department officials agreed that it would be the humane decision to relieve the dog’s suffering and humanely euthanize the animal.

He was put down on January 31.

“I could tell he was not doing well,” Sgt. Sower said in an interview with the Ionia Sentinel-Standard.

Sgt. Sower had been working with K9 Dinar since late 2013, and described his partner as an “awesome” dog. 

K9 Dinar had undergone his training in the Netherlands. He was reportedly an expert on tracking, searches, handler protection, apprehension and narcotics detection.

After completing his training, K9 Dinar went on to serve the ICSO for six years, assisting on a total of 263 calls in that time. 

“Right from the get-go, he knew what he was doing,” Sgt. Sower said. “He was instantly an asset to the department.”

The Daily News reported that K9 Dinar’s last call came on January 11, where he tracked down a wanted felon who was on the run from another county’s jurisdiction.

“It was an awesome track. He was really good with that. I enjoyed working with him and behind him,” Sgt. Sower recalled “He was not just an asset to me. I love that dog. He did a lot here. He assisted finding missing children, missing elderly people. Over the years he’s done so much for the citizens of the county. I’m going to miss him.”

Dinar was ICSO’s only K9 officer. The department said they will miss his impact on the community, especially during events with children. 

“It was fun to see the kids’ faces light up when the dog would come into the room,” Sgt. Sower said. “Fun-loving, hard-working, motivated and dedicated – that pretty much sums him up.”

Our hearts go out to the members of law enforcement experiencing the pain of loss from this K9’s untimely death. 

“We lost a member of the agency,” Ionia County Sheriff Charlie Noll said. “Yes, it was a dog, but he was considered a deputy. Dinar was a very important asset to this agency but to the community, too.”

In nearby Saginaw, Michigan, a K9 from the Saginaw Police Department was reportedly stabbed in the head this past Sunday during a hostage situation.

Police Chief Bob Ruth recently asked the community for prayers regarding the injured K9 Deebo, who was recently sent to a local veterinarian hospital. The 5-year-old German Shepherd was among the group of officers who responded to a call at the 600 block of Sheridan Avenue at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday. After a standoff, the suspect involved allegedly stabbed Deebo in the head.


Chief Ruth did not go into great detail on the events that transpired on February 9th, but he explained that officers responded to a home after a neighbor had called 911 to report a disturbance.

From how the chief defined the events, responding units were headed to what was described as “neighbor trouble, which eventually evolved into a domestic situation that evolved into a hostage situation.”

When responding to the call, police encountered a 48-year-old man, whose name has not yet been released, armed with a knife. There was also an adult male hostage who was involved, that authorities stated was rescued from the home by officers.

At some point during the police interaction with the suspect, K9 Deebo was released into the home where the hostage situation was active. From there, that was when K9 Deebo was allegedly injured by the suspect inside the home.

Chief Ruth spoke to the press about the grave moment:

“One of our K9s, which essentially to me is a K-9 police officer, Deebo, was injured. Deebo was stabbed in the head.”


When officers realized that their K9 partner was injured, they opened fire on the armed suspect.

Authorities state that the 48-year-old suspect was killed by the gunfire, but there was no mention of how many rounds were discharged. The chief also added that there was a history of police interaction with the suspect’s home prior to the incident on Sunday, but didn’t divulge much detail outside of that. As of now, the investigation has been turned over to the Michigan State Police.

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K9 Deebo joined the Saginaw Police Department back in 2016. Jody Wilk, who serves as the president of the Saginaw Valley Police Canine Association, stated that they were able to raise approximately $13,000 in order to acquire Deebo and welcome him into the department.

The well-received K9 was trained by Scott LaRoe, who owns Magnum K9 in Quincy. Deebo was formally trained in tracking, narcotics, apprehension and handler protection. According to LaRoe, Deebo has aided in approximately seven or eight cases that involved suspect tracking, apprehensions, and drug busts.

Wilk also commented on the K9’s talents in his areas of training:

“He’s very active. He’s one of the dogs that’s constantly finding and tracking and apprehending.”

When Wilk had gotten word about the events from Sunday, she stated that she was terrified regarding Deebo’s injuries:

“We come to spend a lot of time with these dogs and they’re not just dogs. These dogs go home with their handlers, they become part of the family.”


Wilk had an opportunity to see Deebo following the incident:

“It’s not how you want to see him, of course. It’s just like any of our kids. When you see that they’re sick or struggling, it’s tough to see that. We just ask for everyone’s prayers and support.”

The Saginaw Valley Police Canine Association set up a donation fund on Facebook to help with the costs associated with K9 Deebo’s on-duty injury, which has raised nearly $5,000 at this time.


The latest update from the Association’s Facebook page states that Deebo is now at home and is working to recover:

“Deebo is resting with his family. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers in the following days. As follow-up appointments happen, we will be sure to update everyone.”

We’re praying that Deebo achieves a quick and full recovery from Sunday’s attack.

Law Enforcement Today recently got an exclusive look inside of the facilities that helps prepare these incredible dogs for the difficult job of police work.

AK9I is a premier K9 solutions provider located close to the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. With over 176 acres of training grounds, onsite dormitories, and a beautifully maintained and fully staffed 226 run kennel.

AK9I has a multitude of offsite training locations to enhance the training experience such as abandoned schools, a decommissioned battleship, parks, massive car lots, local businesses, and more.

They also have an explosive range and lab on property through a robust partnership with Point One USA that allows them to offer nearly unparalleled training on explosives. There are areas for ranges that can accommodate both live fire and simmunitions training. It is a one stop shop for your department’s K9 needs.

Laying a hero to rest: Michigan K9 responds to his final call


They offer a 5-week single purpose detection dog course, a 6-week law enforcement specific handler course, an 8-week dual purpose handler course, and a 13-week handler/ trainer course.

According to James Overton, the Director of Marketing and Business Development, AK9I primarily trains;

“…on the odor detection side, whether it be explosives, narcotics got dogs who are trained to find bed bugs. You’ve got dogs that are trained to find cadavers, electronics or currency or food. If it has an odor, you can train the dog to find it.

There are so many capabilities that the canine brings to the table that regular humans just can’t do. The military did a massive research study that determined the best way to detect explosives was a K9.”

The staff of AK9I is comprised of former military and law enforcement that have extensive experience as K9 handlers and trainers. They have trained dozens of local, state, and federal law enforcement K9 handlers, as well as hundreds of DoD military working dog handlers.

The facility offers a phenomenal pool of dogs, such as German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Labrador Retrievers, and Dutch Shepherds.

AK9I – Discover Your Purpose

Whether you are a transitioning service member or veteran looking for an exciting and fulfilling career in the K-9 world, a first responder looking to augment your department’s capability, or a civilian looking to break in to the K-9 industry AK9I has the facility, staff, and experience to help accomplish that goal. AK9I is approved by the Virginia State Approving Agency to provide education and training under Chapter 33 of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. In addition to being able to utilize your education benefits to cover the cost of the course, we include a K-9, from proven working lines that has passed rigorous screening, as well as housing in our new dorm rooms during the course at NO ADDITIONAL COST! We also offer additional training beyond what other schools offer on regular odor detection. With our state of the art explosives lab, and EOD range on our premises thanks to our strategic partnership with Point One USA, our students get unparalleled training on IED recognition and home made explosives. We have top notch instructors in the areas of patrol operations to help those students interested in dual purpose dogs that fine tune their K-9 partners to be formidable assets for their organization. With 200 acres of training area, and dozens of off site locations designed to replicate every scenario you’ll encounter in the field, as well as a state of the art kennel facility, AK9I is your complete solution for all things K-9.Visit to learn more!

Posted by AK9I on Monday, September 2, 2019


All of the canines have undergone extensive medical and physical screening and evaluations, and each comes with a one-year health guarantee. The designated handler, attends the facility and is paired with a canine partner and given the opportunity to bond.

AK9I offers a Patrol K9 Operations Training course, which, according to their website includes:

The handler/canine team will be taught the basics of agility and obedience through obstacle course training and combat-related tasks such as long downs, vertical/horizontal carries, ladder climbs, window entries and tactical movements.

• Aggression Training includes:
• Single and multi-person apprehension
• Apprehension from vehicle
• Apprehension with gunfire
• Vehicle extractions
• Handler protection
• Prisoner escorts
• Recalls and call-outs

At the end of this portion of Patrol K9 training, students will have a comprehensive understanding of canine drives (food, play, prey, hunt, defense, fight, and pack) and will be able to read and activate these canine drives as necessary to manage the canine’s behavior in aggression situations.

AK9I is also continually developing new programs as the market demands it.

“One of the programs that we’re looking at doing is for the active shooter deterrents in schools, “ Overton stated. “We see that getting a lot of bipartisan support because we’re not putting another firearm in schools. We’re putting a canine team in schools. The canine solution is sort of a bridging solution that brings those two people together.”

Any departments, veterans or individuals that are interested in the canine handler training programs can contact American K9 Interdiction directly at Tel: (757) 304-9600 or email: [email protected]


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