PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Members of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police are mourning a heartbreaking loss. The newest member of the K-9 Unit unexpectedly passed away Saturday. K-9 Loki suddenly came down with aspiration pneumonia.READ MORE: St. Patrick's Day Parade In Pittsburgh Sees Smaller Crowd For Celebrations In September
K-9 Loki put a smile on the face of everybody he met and was instantly beloved in the city of Pittsburgh. The sweet, spunky bloodhound puppy celebrated his 10-week birthday on Friday and woke up Saturday seeming happy as could be.
“I got a call from my K-9 trainer Bill Watts. He was playing with Loki this morning and Loki was doing fine and all of a sudden he just collapsed,” said Sgt. Sean Duffy, the K-9 Unit Supervisor for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.
They rushed K-9 Loki to an emergency veterinary hospital where he was diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia. They gave him oxygen, antibiotics and sedated him.
“They were going to watch him for two days. And within an hour, he declined rapidly,” said Sgt. Duffy. At 2:45 p.m., Loki passed away.
“It is a tragedy. We worked a long time to get Loki here. And we finally got him here and finally started his training and this happens,” said Sgt. Duffy.
Loki was cremated. K-9 Officer Kevin Merkel will be keeping his ashes because he would have been Loki’s handler.READ MORE: Male Suspect In Custody After 3 People Shot At Baby Shower At Kinloch Volunteer Fire Department
K-9 Loki’s police family had a memorial service for him. Sgt. Duffy read Lord Byron’s poem Epitaph to a Dog.
“He talks about his dog who possessed beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity,” said Sgt. Duffy, quoting lines from the poem.
Sgt. Duffy wants the K-9 Unit’s new motto to be “courage without ferocity.”
“Because that just nails it on the head what the K-9s are all about,” said Sgt. Duffy.
Even though K-9 Loki never got a chance to grow into his important role, his passing leaves a huge void in the hearts of the officers who loved him.
“He was adorable. We’re going to miss him so much,” said Sgt. Duffy.
In the future, Sgt. Duffy told KDKA he is confident the department will get another bloodhound to do the important job Loki would have done in finding people who have gone missing. Right now, they are mourning Loki’s passing and asking for prayers.MORE NEWS: Allegheny Co. Police Investigating After Woman Found With Gunshot Wound In City Of Duquesne
Donations to help fund the Pittsburgh Police K-9 Unit can be made online at community.pittsburghfoundation.org/rocco.