A Toronto Police canine member passed away suddenly on September 2, just over an hour after another great piece of police work, having located a gun.
Kash, a seven-year-old German Shepherd, fell ill about 90 minutes after finding a holstered gun in a clump of bushes in the Don Valley Ave. and Lawrence Ave. E. area.
Constable Matthew Butt said he and his partner responded to a call to assist 33 Division in a road-rage incident.
“The report we got was that a male driver in a vehicle pointed a gun at another driver and the guy with the gun was last seen going into a parkette,” he said. ‘It was reported that the car was there for about five minutes before the driver fled the scene.”
When the officer and his partner arrived on the scene, Kash was deployed to look for a discarded firearm.
“He pulled me about eight feet into some thick brush and he came out with a holstered firearm,” Butt said.
They were the only canine team working in the city that evening.
Butt said it’s customary for him to stop his vehicle regularly so that Kash and his other partner – Folsom – would be able to stretch and urinate.
“After I got Kash out of the truck, he passed out on the side of the road and I rushed him to the vet,” said Bush. “It was determined he had a cancerous tumour we didn’t know about. Due to the excitement and his blood pressure increasing while searching for the gun, the tumour erupted and he bled to death internally.”
Since joining the Service in 2010, Kash has found countless people, guns and knives.
Last year, he located a knife on a rooftop. It was involved in a stabbing.
“He air-scented it from the roof of a school,” said Butt. “We got the fire department to come and they brought the knife down. This dog was just amazing at what he did and I will miss him.”
Butt and Kash developed a close bond in the seven years they were together.
The officer said he was his best partner in his 16 years on the job.
“The first day I got him, he was very green and he knew nobody,” Butt recalled. “He had never been in a car, never walked on the street on a leash and never had a TTC bus drive past him. We went through those things together. I walked him every morning when we were on the 16-week course, I walked him through sub-divisions, I got him used to walking besides buses and we sat on the side of the road for 15 minutes daily so he could get used to buses, cars and bikes going by. As the days went by, he got more comfortable with the elements that we were going to deal with in the city. He wasn’t by any means a home pet. Kash was a street dog through and through. He gave 100 per cent on every one of his calls. He was my partner and protector and I spent more time with him than with my three kids.”
Kash will be cremated and a memorial service will be held.