SPOKANE, Wash. -Spokane Police said the department's first Explosive Detection K9, Ryker, passed away over the weekend.
The SPD K9 Unit Facebook page said in a Facebook post that K9 Ryker succumbed to an illness he had been battling for a number of weeks. The K9 unit said doctors were unable to diagnose or defeat the illness.
K9 Ryker had joined SPD in December of 2013, and trained two different handlers during his time with the department.
“It was a privilege to work with him for the few years I had him," said Det. Shawn Pegram, K9 Ryker's first partner. "He was a special dog and truly had a one-track mind; always ready to ‘find it’.”
K9 Ryker's second partner, Sgt. Sean Wheeler, paid tribute to Ryker as well.
“Even to his last day, Ryker pulled himself up onto his front legs, happy to work as he saw me come down the stairs with my K9 shirt on. Ryker was so full of love, gentleness and the ultimate drive to work. My family and I will never forget Ryker as he was, without a doubt part, of our family," Wheeler said.
Wheeler said Dr. Byron Misseghers from the Veterinary Surgical Specialists did everything in his power to help Ryker, even coming in numerous times on his days off to tend to him.