Former Mason Police officer pleads to keep K-9 partner

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A Mason Police Department officer resigned in January after leaving his gun and utility belt unattended at Mason High School; but he’s pleading with city leaders to let him take K-9 Officer Tamarack with him.

Officer Hayden Wildfong resigned Jan. 22, after an investigation was launched over leaving his gun and utility belt unattended at the Mason High School gym. He was placed on administrative leave for three days, before tendering his resignation.

His resignation also left K-9 officer Tamarack without a partner.

Former Mason Police Officer Hayden Wildfong and K-9 Officer Tamarack. (Photo/Mason Police Department)
Former Mason Police Officer Hayden Wildfong and K-9 Officer Tamarack. (Photo/Mason Police Department)

Mason officials announced Monday they were ending the city’s canine program and seeking to place Tamarack with another agency.

Wildfong, in an email to Mason City Council members and obtained by 6 News, argues he should be able to keep Tamarack — his “best friend and partner.”

Tamarack was rescued from a hoarding situation, placed in a kennel, and finally given to her forever person in her forever home (at least I thought). Forget about me for a minute, Tamarack does not deserve this treatment. She is 6 or 7 years old and imprinted on me and very attached to me. I am also very attached to her. We have spent every minute of the day the last 3 years with each other. Hundreds of hours of training together. She means the world to me and I would do anything to bring her home again so she can live out the rest of her days with her dad. Now Tamarack is placed back into a very chaotic kennel with big barking dogs all day and night. She is very confused and depressed why she is not at home with her brother, Oakley and her dad. I have offered to pay whatever price for Tamarack and it went without a response. If you are trying to get a certain amount of money back, I am more than willing to make that happen. Tamarack deserves better. Please try to put yourselves in my situation for a few minutes and how you would feel if your best friend (any pet that you love dearly) was removed from your family.

Email from former Mason Police Officer Hayden Wildfong to Mason City Council Members

Photo/Mason Police Department
Photo/Mason Police Department

Wildfong says he is willing to pay the city to adopt Tamarack.

“She is a very intelligent animal that has emotions and feelings,” Wildfong wrote in his email to the city council. “She is completely lost without me. I am pleading for your assistance.”

Mason officials said in a statement an internal post for another Mason officer to take over responsibility working with Tamarack had close on Jan. 28 without any officer expressing interest. The city are seeking another law enforcement agency to bring Tamarack on duty with them. Barring an agency stepping up, Mason officials said they would consider adopting the dog to a qualified as a canine handler.

The department will end its canine program altogether with Wildfong’s resignation and the placement of Tamarack at another place.

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