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Police department bids farewell to Cheko

Police in Thomasville, North Carolina, paid their tribute to one of their canine partners Thursday — Cheko, a 9-year-old drug-sniffing dog who died after being poisoned.

About 150 people gathered for a memorial service at the Thomasville Funeral Home.

Police Chief Jeffrey Insley said before the service that an autopsy determined that Cheko — a drug-detecting dog who also was trained as a tracker — had been poisoned, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. He was one of four dogs in the K-9 unit.

Cheko died in March, just a week before he was scheduled to retire, at the Randolph County home of his handler, Thomasville Police Sgt. John Elgin. Elgin found Cheko dead inside his kennel, about two days after the dog started acting sluggish.

The Randolph County Sheriff’s Department is investigating how the dog ingested the poison. Elgin said additional tests will be conducted to determine what chemicals or poisons killed Cheko.

“It could have been an act of retaliation from a past arrest, but we are not going to point any fingers until we complete our investigation,” he said.

“Any new dog who takes Cheko’s place will have big paws to fill,” Insley said at the service.

Among those paying tribute to Cheko was  Thomasville Mayor Joe Bennett told the audience, Cheko had gone to heaven. “I doubt there are drugs there, but he is looking for something and having fun.”


Comment from Smoketoomuch
Time April 9, 2011 at 10:43 am

Sad. Beautiful animal. We’ll reserve judgement on the manner of his death however, until all of the facts are in. It might have been accidental.

Comment from Ruth Sperone
Time April 9, 2011 at 3:40 pm

What shame. Such a beautiful dog. Hopefully they will find out who did this to him and maybe they can feed him some poison.

Comment from Anon
Time April 13, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Dog was sluggish for 2 days, and it’s a working dog. Call me crazy, but I’d of rushed to vet after half a day of acting off…
RIP Officer Cheko