The SPS is mourning the loss of one of its police service dogs.
On March 14, 2014, Diego, a seven and a half year old German Shepherd, passed away following a short bout with cancer. He had been with the SPS for five years.
Diego was a highly trained and accomplished PSD. He was the only SPS canine with explosive detection abilities and as such was sent to Regina to sniff out Mosaic Stadium prior to the Grey Cup last year.
While he was very successful, Cst. Lalonde remembers Diego’s first ‘catch’ – if you can call it that. PSDs are trained for protection and apprehension. However, when Diego tracked down his first suspect, he instead gave him a dog kiss instead of using the usual apprehension tactics.
He eventually got the hang of it and during his tenure with the SPS, Diego and Cst. Lalonde played a part in nabbing nearly 150 bad guys. That doesn’t include the hundreds of other tracks they did in search of people or in the collection of evidence.
Life with the SPS wasn’t always all work and no play. Cst. Lalonde and Diego visited many organizations and schools. One such event was the K9 Cops for Kids Christmas Campaign in 2012. Diego’s demeanor and floppy ear brought smiles to the faces of the children and their families that would be spending their Christmas in the hospital.
Diego will be missed by Cst. Lalonde and his family, as well as the entire Saskatoon Police Service.