Center for Companion Animal Health

Photo: Faithful Partner
"Faithful Partner" Rededication: Police Dog Memorial at the School of Veterinary Medicine

"Faithful Partner" Rededication: Police Dog Memorial at the School of Veterinary Medicine

On Tuesday March 31st, 2009, fifteen K-9 officers who died in the line of duty were honored at the rededication ceremony for the "Faithful Partners" memorial located at the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis.

Dozens of law-enforcement officers, including many dogs and their handlers, came from throughout California to share in this ceremony acknowledging the service and the ultimate sacrifice made by these very special canines. The ceremony included a color guard, bagpiper, bugler, and a procession of law enforcement officers with their K-9 partners.

Photo: Faithful Partner

The star-shaped granite memorial topped by a life-size bronze statue of a German shepherd, one of the breeds most commonly used for law enforcement work, honors over thirty K-9 officers who died in the line of duty. Tuesday's ceremony marked not only the rededication of the memorial in its new permanent location, but also the addition of fifteen names to the memorial. Each of the fifteen canine officers were honored at the event as their names and "end of watch" date were read aloud. Many of the handlers of these fine animal partners were on hand for the public acknowledgment and commemoration of their partners' exceptional service to the law enforcement community and to the public.

Photo: Faithful Partner

The memorial, designed and donated by long-time School supporter Bill Balaban, was originally dedicated in 2002 at a temporary location on the vet school campus, but was recently moved to its current permanent location adjacent to the new Gladys Valley Hall instructional building. The memorial now enjoys a prominent place on the campus of the School of Veterinary Medicine, where it is maintained by the second year students of veterinary medicine.

Photo: Faithful Partner

Many canine law enforcement officers have been treated over the years at UC Davis' William Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, and our faculty, staff, and students have had ample opportunity to bear witness to the close and very special bond between these remarkable canine officers and their human counterparts. We remember with gratitude the service they have provided to our communities.