A beloved drug-sniffing K-9 named Jax was being mourned by Riverside County Sheriff's Department Wednesday after suffering cluster seizures.
Jax was taken to California Veterinarian Specialists in Murrieta Sunday, and despite efforts of veterinary staff, died later that night, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Robyn Flores.
Jax was trained to search out contraband, including narcotics, cellphones and alcohol, within the sheriff's jail facilities, Flores said. He was set to retire in September on his eighth birthday.
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"Jax visited all five county correctional facilities on a weekly basis where he was beloved by staff members," Flores said in a news release. "He had developed a reputation throughout the county for his knack at locating contraband within our facilities, but also as the 'Handsomest Dog in the County.' Inmates at our facilities knew when Jax arrived, and when his loud bellowing bark echoed. Jax enjoyed his work and it showed."
Flores thanked California Veterinary Specialists staff for "providing such a high caliber of care to one of our K-9s in the most dire of circumstances" and said the department's thoughts and prayers go out to Jax's handler and his family.
"It is easy to forget sometimes that the service dog and handler spend more time together than the handler's family, and the bond they develop is unbreakable," Flores said.
Another sheriff's K-9, Windy, succumbed to illness on July 25.
"We are sure that K-9 Jax and K-9 Windy are spending some time together now that they are both without pain and free to roam where they please," Flores said. "Goodbye Jax, we have the watch from here."