We appreciate canine police officers. They’re such good dogs who do their best to protect and serve. Unfortunately, earlier this month in Utah, a police K-9 was gunned down while apprehending a suspect. In order to honor the fallen hero, a casket was specifically designed for him. It included a portrait of the canine officer, plus an American flag.
The police commissioned Rawtin Garage – an auto body and paint shop – to create the customized casket for the late Hondo. Hondo was a seven-year-old Belgian Malinois who was trained in Europe prior to joining the force of the Harriman City Police Department back in 2015.
Johnny Ward, the co-owner Rawtin Garage, told KSL-TV, “We had a lot of pressure. I think the call came in Wednesday night. And they said, ‘Hey, we’re bringing in a casket tomorrow morning.’”
Hondo’s casket 💔 🐕 What an honor it was to paint a hero’s casket.The passing of Herriman Police K9 HONDO, who was…
Rawtin Garage managed to work a miracle – finishing the casket in 24 hours. In a kind gesture they didn’t charge for their work. Normally, the garage has a 2-month waiting period.
Johnny told Fox News, “It’s hard work, but there’s an incredible sense of satisfaction. This dog really is a hero.”
The artist who did the custom-painted image of Hondo by hand on the casket, Eccles, spoke to KSL-TV and revealed, “In a weird way, it was kind of a spiritual experience. You feel like, by the time you’re done, you really got to know Hondo.”
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Herriman Police K9 Hondo, who was killed in the line of duty last night while assisting the U.S. Marshal’s Office in apprehending a dangerous fugitive.
A press conference will be held today at 3pm at the Herriman City Hall pic.twitter.com/CuABvAmipy
— Herriman PD (@HerrimanPolice) February 14, 2020
Hondo had been working with his partner, Sgt. Ben Ricks. Together, the pair had a track record of more than 100 felony arrests. Hondo was quite the accomplished K-9, ranking near the top of Utah’s best K-9s in the state. And, according to Carr, in 2018, Hondo took first place in the international trials.
In a February 14th press conference, the police chief stated, “PSD Hondo was a true warrior then his actions ensured that his loving friend and partner Ben [Ricks] would able to return home to his wife, children, and HPD family. We mourn the loss of our member of our family but we remember the sacrifice.”
Rest in peace sweet Hondo.