BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – When Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy Davis Acevedo’s long-time K-9 partner “Dino” died of cancer, he thought it might be too difficult to work with another dog.
That was until a fellow deputy asked Acevedo to fulfill a dying wish.
“Dino will forever be my favorite because he was my first K-9 partner. The difference between Dino and Nitro...,” Acevedo trailed off, before beginning to cry.
The thought of Dino brings “Ace” — as he’s known — Acevedo to tears. Dino was a 9-year-old German Shepherd.
The two were partners for almost a decade, living and working together. In December 2021, Dino died of cancer. Acevedo was heartbroken.
“In K-9, we get so attached to these dogs,” he said. “They become like our children.”
Then, the phone rang on the other end. It was fellow K-9 Deputy Michael Maicon.
Maicon was battling an aggressive case of colon cancer. His partner was 6 1/2-year-old “Nitro.”
“I get an unexpected call from him, and he’s like, ‘Hey Ace, I’m talking to my wife, and you know my situation. It’s worsening,’” Acevedo said. “We want you to work him. That’s the only want. I want to see Nitro being worked, not at home. So, I got emotional and started crying and everything.”
The request was even more special because of who it came from.
“He was a guy that everyone loved, everyone looked up to. And he was definitely someone I looked up to,” Acevedo said. “When I got in the unit, I said, ‘I want to be like this guy. He is great handler, great at what he does.’”
They have now been partners for a little over a year.
“I mean, his nose — he’s phenomenal,” Acevedo said. “We’ve apprehended several individuals and every time we do, and if it is a long search and a successful one, I say, ‘Mike, we did it. This is you.’”
At home, Nitro has become an Acevedo, sleeping at the edge of Ace’s bed.
“My 5-year-old likes to ride him as a horse,” Acevedo said. “No one is ever going to replace Dino, but it does help a lot.”
Acevedo calls it “a great way to keep Mike’s legacy going.”
Before his death, Ace would send Mike videos of the two bonding. Deputy Mike Maicon passed away on May 26, 2022.
“He would say, ‘Oh my god, that is awesome. I see you guys are going to make a great team’,” Acevedo said.
Local 10 reporter Jeff Weinsier asked, “And do you believe that today? What kind of team is this?”
“It’s an amazing team,” Acevedo said. “Mike and his wife were right. We definitely get the job done and everything Mike wished for. He got it and more.”
Safe to say, we can call this partnership an “Ace” in the hole.