Plaistow police mourn death of K-9

·2 min read

Sep. 13—PLAISTOW — Plaistow police K-9 Shadow died unexpectedly last week. He was a member of law enforcement since 2016.

Shadow, a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois, was assigned to Sergeant Alec Porter, the department's K-9 handler since 1987. Shadow was Porter's fifth K-9.

In a Facebook post, the Plaistow Police Department announced that Shadow was rushed to Brentwood Veterinary Emergency Hospital before his tour of duty Sept. 4, when he showed symptoms of bloat.

Shadow underwent emergency surgery, but "took a turn for the worse during his recovery," the post said.

A decision was made to euthanize Shadow on Sept. 8.

Neighboring town police departments, including Hampstead, Salem and Haverhill, Massachusetts, offered their condolences on social media. The New Hampshire Fire Marshal's office also offered sympathy.

Shadow will be remembered not only by Plaistow police, but the community at large, Sgt. Jason Mazza said. Shadow was popular at events and schools across town.

"He was just a great presence here," Mazza said. "He worked hand-in-hand with Sergeant Porter. He was a great community dog."

Over the course of his service, Shadow was certified in patrol tactics and narcotics by both the Boston Police K-9 Academy and the United States Police Canine Association Region 4. He was re-certified as recently as July.

That training allowed Shadow to show proficiency in tracking missing persons, which he did in town and when called up by neighboring departments in need.

He also was trained to sniff out evidence at crime scenes and locate drugs.

"There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes with the K-9s, especially Shadow," Mazza said "He was always available to work and always excited to work."

There is no immediate plan in place for the town's K-9 program.

"It happened so fast," Mazza said. "We don't have anything lined up right now so it's just an administrative decision to see where we go down the road."

Shadow's name will be added to a monument in front of the Public Safety Complex, where the names of other Plaistow K-9s are included.