Family of Fallen Officer Allowed to Keep K-9 for $1

In the midsts of all the destruction happening, here is a beautiful story that came from a tragedy.

Modesto, California Police Sgt. Mike Pershall was killed in August at the young age of 38. He was hit by a drunk driver as he rode his bike. Now the family of the fallen officer has received news that they will be allowed to have a living token of him: his police K-9.

It gets even better: the dog is valued over $9,000 but the city council is allowing the family to have him for $1.

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WSBTV reports:

[Pershall] had been promoted to sergeant on Aug. 8 and had been the handler of Ike, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois K-9, for two years.

Even though Ike represents a $9,137 investment for the Modesto Police Department, Chief Galen Carroll asked the City Council to consider “the human factor” and sell the dog to the family, the Bee reported.

He gets an early retirement from police work and will spend the rest of his days with the family of his handler, the Bee reported.

Carroll said, “It is not a good deal for the Police Department to lose the dog,” he continued, “But there is also the human factor of, you have a wife and two kids who just lost their dad, and that’s the family dog. What is the right thing to do?”

Modesto Bee reports:

Modesto Police Canine Association president and K9 handler Daniel Starr said the association “absolutely, without a shadow of doubt, supports giving Ike to Pershall’s family.”

“We spend more time with our dogs than we do with our wives and kids … so there is a bond there that no one understands unless they are currently or have been a K9 handler,” Starr said. “But the dogs spend a significant amount of time with our wives and children as well, and there is a significant amount of comfort they bring (to our families) because they know the dogs protect us while we are at work.”

Starr said the association was created in 1999 to pay for the ongoing veterinary care, kenneling and ultimately death costs of retired canines. It’s been the practice in the department to sell those canines to the handler for $1.

The sale absolves the city of any further financial responsibility for the dog, and that is where the association steps in.

Carroll added that taking the dog away “would literally be going into a family who just lost their husband and dad and taking another member of the family.”

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