Today, my office is mourning the loss of our 10-year old Accelerant Detector K9, Emma. Emma was only 10 years old. She was diagnosed with a hereditary kidney disease at the age of 5 and had been on a treatment plan that was working very well, until a few weeks ago when it made getting up and out of the house nearly impossible.
Here is the announcement that was sent around our office from our Arson Unit, where Emma was stationed:
Announcement of the Passing of Arson Bureau K9 Emma ~ October 7, 2009
The New York State Office of Fire Prevention & Control Arson Bureau regretfully announces the passing of Accelerant Detection K9 Emma. Emma, a 10 year old mixed lab, was assigned shield# K5 as the NYS Department of States fifth K9 Unit. Partnered with Arson Bureau Investigator Richard Daus they began their mission as a K9 Team in 2001 upon graduating from the 300 hour basic K9 Training Program at the Academy of Fire Science in Montour Falls, N.Y. Over their career as an Accelerant Detection K9 Team, Richie and Emma conducted 1231 canine searches, assisting fire and law enforcement agencies throughout the state through the investigation of high dollar loss fires, fires of unusual circumstances and fires with fatalities to include the heinous crime of arson homicides. In addition to aiding in the investigation of fires, K9 Emma was also a prominent figure as the team delivered fire prevention and investigation programs. At the age of 5, Emma was diagnosed with a hereditary kidney disease for which a treatment plan was developed and successful until the past few weeks when the illness became debilitating. Upon behalf of State Fire Administrator Floyd Madison we extend our deepest of sympathy to Investigator Daus and his family at this difficult time in the loss of his partner and our comrade as there is no stronger bond that that of the professional K9 Handler to their partner and of the team to their mission.
She was an amazing dog, and she was like family to everyone who works here. I'm in tears myself. It's just so sad that she had to go so soon.
Rest in peace, Emma. May your journey to the Rainbow Bridge be a pleasant one. We all love you very, very much.