RIP Barney, Washington State Drug Dog

BARNEY, courtesy Tacoma Police Department
BARNEY, courtesy Tacoma Police Department
Poor Barney. He was just doing his job, sniffing out drugs for the Tacoma Police Department, participating in what would become one of the city’s largest drug busts ever. Unfortunately, the Tacoma News Tribune is reporting that he accidentally sniffed some methamphetamine up his nose and has died. The 11-year old black lab had served with the department since 2010.

A drug dog typically alerts his or her handler to the presence of drugs by placing his / her nose on the object containing the drugs. In this instance, however, there was apparently drug residue on the outside of the package, which Barney inhaled. He subsequently developed seizures and a 109-degree fever. Despite emergency veterinary care, he died the next day.

Chief Donald Ramsdell said, “Barney will be remembered as a dedicated member of our department, who without a doubt made Tacoma safer by virtue of his work and his service. Barney died in the line of duty and will be honored as such.”

RIP Barney, and thank you for your service. Our deepest condolences to handler Henry Betts, his family, and the entire Tacoma Police Department on their loss. The department requests that memorial contributions be made to your local Humane Society.

Until next time,
Good day, and good dog.

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