K9 Officer Who Lost His Life To Help Officers Find Fugitive Receives Special Burial

Mar 25th, 2020

There are so many inspiring stories out there where dogs end up saving their other people’s lives. We have proven after all this time that not all heroes wear capes. One of them is Hondo.

Hondo is a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois. He was trained to become a police officer’s assistant in Europe in 2015. During his training, the K-9 helped the officers with more than 100 felony arrests. He sniffed out hundreds of pounds of narcotics off the streets.

Sadly, this brave pooch was shot while trying to help the Herriman City’s Police Department. They were trying to catch a fugitive on February 13 in Salt Lake City when the tragedy happened. Hondo was shot in his sternum. He was rushed to the nearest veterinary clinic but the doctors were not able to save him.

To honor Hondo, a paint shop in Utah created a special casket for this one-of-a-kind police dog.

Rawtin Garage was tasked to customize a casket for Hondo. This paint shop is specializing in motorcycle and classic automobiles. Hondo’s casket will be their first and they want to make it extra special. The custom design will be hand-painted or airbrushed. His casket will feature a portrait of him wearing his police harness.

John Ward, the owner of Rawtin Garage told CNN during an interview that they asked him to get something together for Hondo since they have done work on the police officer’s motorcycles in the past. The crew started working on Hondo’s casket and they finished it in 24 hours. The crew’s artist, Keith Eccles said, We only had a 24-hour span to do it, and it just came together, literally, it just came together.

I was all in, man. To me, dogs are sacred. ”

Aside from the hand-painted portrait of the brave hero dog, they also added a ‘thin blue line’ themed American flag.

Ward added, “Hondo is a special one and deserves nothing less. He really is a hero. This is our opportunity or our way that we can give back a little bit. On that casket, there are certain meanings that are unique to the dog, the community, the police force.”

The Rawtin Garage crew then shared a photo of this unique casket on their social media page with a caption that reads:

“Hondo’s casket

What an honor it was to paint a hero’s casket.

The passing of Herriman Police K9 HONDO, who was killed in the line of duty while assisting the U.S Marshal’s Office in apprehending a dangerous fugitive.”

They also added a hashtag #alldogsgotoheaven.

Because of what happened to Hondo, people were wondering if the dog did not have any protective gear on during the incident. The police department did not hesitate to address this concern on Facebook with this statement:

“One point of clarification regarding K9 body armor from yesterday’s press conference. At HPD we DO have body armor for both of our K9 teams. The decision of when to outfit the K9 in the body armor is entirely up to the handler and is situation-specific.”

Addressing the incident, they wrote: “On a surveillance operation, such as the one Thursday night, the K9 would likely not be outfitted in body armor during surveillance… Thursday’s incident went from surveillance to apprehension to armed confrontation very rapidly and would not have allowed Sergeant Ricks time to outfit Hondo with his body armor prior to the shooting.”

The police department also explained that they fully support Sergeant Ricks’s decision and will NOT second guess about the events which lead up to Hondo’s death.