Ventura County Sheriff’s K-9 Department pays tribute to its Fallen Partners

A fact hard to deal with at times, when living with working K9’s, is that they pass away. In a perfect world, our K9 partners would retire and live out their lives with us as family pets. They work for us with such dedication that is only fair they retire with the same from us.

People quite often ask what happens to our partners when they retire. With the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, the handlers purchase the dog for a small fee and allow them to live out their life. We do not sell or give away the dogs outside the department. Our K9 partners mean too much, and we do not know of a handler that would allow it.

We spend 12 hours or more a day at work with our partners and then bring them home at the end of each shift and on the weekends. This means that we actually spend more time with our K9 partners than we do with our family.

We bring our partners into our home as part of our family. We understand that they are working police dogs, but the type of dogs that we select are capable of knowing the difference between work and family life.

It is not easy to have a dog pass away, but it is even harder when a working K9 passes. Each and every working day as a K9 handler, you are accustomed to opening your car door, and letting your partner in to start the day. Suddenly, without warning or planning, that 40-hour-a-week bond stops.

With retirement, you see it coming. You know the days are closing and you prepare. With a death, it stops. True, we start again at training a new partner, but it leaves a void in your heart. You feel a little cheated and left wondering how many “bad guys” were out there for you as a team to find. A small piece of you as a K9 handler is locked away with that partner, a piece you won’t ever release again.

Fortunately with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department we have not had to experience the death of a working K9 and we hope we never do, but we would like to say “thank you” to our partners who have died after giving years of service to our community.

The following dogs have passed away after serving with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department K9 Unit:

“Hanno” Patrol Dog Partner – Scott Duffner
“Ivan” Patrol Dog Partner – Virgina Tinoco
“Alf” Patrol Dog Matt Delahuerta
“Falk” Patrol Dog Partner-Danny Thompson
“Basko” Patrol Dog Partner(s)-Mike Horne & Mike Aranda
“Dago” Patrol Dog Partner-Chuck Buttell
“Zigan” Patrol Dog Partner(s)-Steve Rhods & Mike Kennedy
“Barry” Patrol Dog Partner-Craig Adford
“Falk” Patrol Dog Partner-Steve Wade
“Pascha” Patrol Dog Partner(s)-Steve Wade & Joe Rivas
“Kai” Patrol Dog Partner(s)-Joe Rivas & Mike Izquierdo
“Blitz” Patrol Dog Partner(s)-Al Moussa & Debbie DeMattia
“Uras” Patrol Dog Partner-Al Moussa
“Kim” Patrol Dog Partner-Nancy Alaniz
“Bar” Patrol Dog Partner-Harold Orr
“Vok” Patrol Dog Partner-Dave Sparks
“Duro” Patrol Dog Partner-Scott Hardy
“Edi” Patrol Dog Partner-Tony Aguirre
“Henk” Patrol Dog Partner-Tyler Liljekvist
“Canto” Patrol Dog Partner(s)-Cory Rubright & Bobby Marks
“Ben” Patrol Dog Partner(s)-Gene Martinez & Scott Duffner
“Ben” Patrol Dog Partner(s)-Mike Izquierdo & Scott Sedgwick
“Ahron”   Partner-Deputy Slominski
“Vex”   Partner-Deputy Reeder



























All photos and text curtsey of the officers of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department’s K9 Unit. 

Their website:


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