Fallen K-9s honored during memorial service

Handlers call fallen partners heroes

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – One by one, the police K-9s walk side by side with their human partners.

Wednesday, the teams of two walked together to honor their fallen animal heroes.

"Sarge was the best partner I ever had in the 31 years as a police officer," Homestead police Sgt. Tony Traad said. "He saved my life countless times."

Nine dogs that have died in the line of duty while serving South Florida were memorialized with a brick of their names and department.

"I took him to the car to cool him down," Florida Highway Patrol trooper Thomas Maxwell said. "I was petting him and talking with him, and I happened to look back in the backseat and he had collapsed."

These teams have been torn apart by criminals, cancer and car accidents. Just like their handlers, these K-9 officers suffer the same fate.

"That's one of the most ugliest experiences any K-9 team is going to have in his career is putting his dog down," Homestead police Officer Brian Kennedy said.

But all agree these souls can be called heroes.

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