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Denton County Sherriff’s office will replace fallen K-9 unit
Daniel Bissell / Staff Writer
Even though the Denton County Sherriff’s office is currently without a K-9 unit, there are plans in finding a replacement unit in the future, Investigator Larry Kish said.
Denton County Sherriff William Travis is working to find a replacement unit.
According to the sheriff’s office, the only K-9 unit, Chico, was shot in the abdomen on Dec. 21 after being mistaken for a coyote by a Collin County property owner. Chico had gone missing the day before after escaping through a blown open gate.
“The man mistook him for a coyote and shot him to protect his livestock,” Travis said.
Travis, who wasn’t sworn in until Jan. 1, said a search for the dog was launched the next day when the land-owner called the office and reported that the animal he shot might be the missing K-9.
Travis said no charges will be pressed against the man.
“We talked to him, and he was very remorseful over what had happened,” Travis said. “It was clearly an accident, and no charges will be pressed against him.”
Chico was a four-year-old Belgian Malinois who had served with the department since 2009. Kish said Chico was a valued member of the force who aided in multiple drug-related busts.
“Chico was a very successful drug detection K-9 who was directly responsible for numerous large narcotic seizures,” Kish said. “Chico had specialized training in passenger processing which allowed him to work in small confined occupied areas.”
Former Sheriff Benny Parkey served as Denton County sheriff from 2005 through 2012 and helped bring the K-9 program to the sheriff’s office. He said in an earlier interview with the Denton Record-Chronicle that Chico provided great aid to the officers who worked with him.
“Together with his handler, they were responsible for many seizures of money and drugs,” Parkey said.
According to Kish, a funeral was held for the fallen K-9 on Jan. 10.
“There were approximately 100 attendees,” Kish said. “It was a very positive service.”
Travis said Chico will be dearly missed by all those who worked with him.
“Chico was a very instrumental member of our department,” Travis said. “He led us to multiple narcotics seizures worth millions of dollars. We will all miss him.”