CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Highway Patrol (WHP) announced Thursday an End-of-Watch for retired narcotics detection K-9, Hunter, who passed away on August 11.
“The Wyoming Highway Patrol is saddened to report the passing of retired narcotics detection K-9, Hunter,” the department wrote.
“K-9 Hunter was purchased in 2010 for narcotics detection work and paired initially with Sgt. Jeremy Beck, 2010-2017, who is now assigned to the Safety and Training Section at Headquarters in Cheyenne as the Wyoming Highway Patrol’s Public Information Officer,” WHP added.
Beck stated, “Most recently, K-9 Hunter and his handler, Trooper Scott Neilson, were assigned to Division ‘D’ in Lyman, 2017-2019.”
“K-9 Hunter served the State of Wyoming for a total of nine years and, during that time, was deployed 418 times resulting in several cases where illegal narcotics were seized,” Beck explained. “K-9 Hunter was involved in the seizure of over 1,069 pounds of marijuana, 136.1 grams of cocaine, 4.7 pounds of methamphetamine, 35.1 grams of heroin, and 1.3 pounds of other illegal narcotics.”
Altogether, Beck reported, K-9 Hunter “was also instrumental in the seizure of illicit funds generated from the trafficking of narcotics of over $382,667 of U.S. Currency.”
“At the time of K-9 Hunter’s retirement in September 2019, he was the longest-serving K-9 on the Highway Patrol K-9 Team,” Beck added.
K-9 Hunter spent his retirement and remaining days with his partner, handler – the Neilson family. According to Beck, K-9 Hunter “spent his last week running around chasing his ball and swimming while the family was enjoying the lake.”
K-9 Hunter passed away peacefully on his favorite bed next to a wood-burning stove in the family’s home.
“Our condolences to Trooper Neilson and his family – Hunter will be missed,” Beck wrote.
A Working Dog’s Oath - Author, unknown.
“I will lay my life for you
And expect nothing but love in return.
I protect my officer with my life,
And would gladly take a bullet in his place.
I am sent to find lost children
And fugitives on the run.
I find drugs and weapons and even bombs.
I am the first sent in
And sometimes the last to leave.
I am the nose and ears of my officer.
I will protect and serve him.
I would die for him and for you.
I only ask for compassion and a kind word.”
Rest in peace K-9 Hunter and thank you for protecting WHP and our communities; see you over the Rainbow Bridge.