BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) – A retired dog with the Battle Creek Police Department’s K-9 Unit has died after battling a degenerative back disease.
K-9 Matrix was laid to rest Monday.
He came to BCPD in September 2002 from North Coast K-9, a training center in Sandusky, Ohio.
He started work as a patrol and narcotics dog in January 2003, and received his training certifications annually.
In August 2007, Matrix was diagnosed with that degenerative back disease and retired from police service.
“He slowly acclimated himself to being a pet, without ever really accepting that he couldn’t go to work with me anymore,” said Det. Sgt. Chad Fickle, to whom Matrix was assigned, in a news release. “He was fiercely loyal to and protective of the family, even trying to keep us from getting to the kids on occasion if they fell and hurt themselves.”
In recent months, Matrix’s health deteriorated and he had trouble walking.
“The decision to have him put to sleep was not an easy one to say the least but, as a police officer, we felt he deserved to go with some dignity,” Fickle said.
Four active K-9 partners currently work with Battle Creek police officers.