HOUSTON (WOIO) - A Canton K9 Officer still remembers his fallen partner and is making an emotional journey to choose a successor and Cleveland 19 News has been there for the journey to Texas.
It won't be easy to find a new partner but somehow Officer Ryan Davis has to try.
"It's bittersweet," said Officer Davis.
Earlier this month, Officer Davis' K9 was killed in the line of duty. Police say Jethro was shot multiple times as he and Davis responded to a burglary.
The city of Canton held a funeral for the German Shepherd on what would have been Jethro's third birthday.
The story of K9 Jethro and Officer Davis made national headlines and touched many, including Houston K9 Academy down in Texas.
"The fact that someone would take an animal's life like that, it hurts, every time I hear that it's lump in my throat," said Yaz Gonzalez-Stanze, owner, president and trainer of Houston K9 Academy.
The academy works with non-profit K9s4Cops. The organization is donating a fully-trained, dual-purpose K9 to the Canton Police Department. He could be Officer Davis' new partner.
All the K9s at the Academy are hand-picked. The trainers go to Europe once a month and after an intense screening and a medical check, they select the top dogs and bring them back to the U.S. to train. They are then vetted out to law enforcement, government, TSA and military agencies.
Officer Davis says he's looking for a "street" dog. Here are his potential partners with code names to protect their identities. They are all from Hungary:
- K9 Joker, a male Belgian Malinois
- K9 Tuko, a male German Shepherd
- K9 Cenzo, a Malaherd
Officer Davis interacted with all of the potential candidates Sunday but he hasn't quite made a decision. He will be in Houston for the next couple of days and hopefully bringing home his new partner on Tuesday. Cleveland 19 will be on location in Houston with those updates on-air and online.
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