TALLMADGE, OH (WOIO) - There's been an outpouring of support for Canton K-9 Jethro after the German Shepherd was shot in killed in the line of duty Saturday.
Tim Wilmoth, a canine handler and retired police officer was also upset learn the news because Jethro was born at his Kennel.
"They're family to us, like our children," said Wilmoth.
Wilmoth breeds and trains dogs at his Tallamadge kennel Von Der Wilmothhaus.
He says that not all dogs are born to be police dogs, but Wilmoth says that Jethro showed early signs he would make an exceptional K-9.
Wilmoth says as a puppy Jethro had a warm temperament which he says is an important characteristic for police dogs to have.
"A good police dog comes from good breeding stock," said Wilmoth who trained Jethro's Father Wenzel, and is currently taking care of Jethro's brother Yasso, and half sister Willow.
Three years ago when Canton Officer Ryan Davis was looking for a police dog, Wilmoth said there was no question Jethro was the perfect match because he wouldn't leave his side after their first meeting.
"He didn't pick the dog, the dog picked him. He just took to him," added Wilmoth.
In the end that partnership would save Davis' life when a robbery suspect at a Canton grocery store opened fire.
Canton police will hold funeral for Jethro on Thursday, January 14, at noon.
"I absolutely think Jethro is a hero. The dog did his job and it's tough to take. And for that some officers went home safe," said Wilmoth.
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