Escondido PD says goodbye to 2 beloved K-9s - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Escondido PD says goodbye to 2 beloved K-9s

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ESCONDIDO (NEWS 8) - The Escondido Police Department is mourning the loss of two retired K-9 officers who died one day apart earlier this month.

K-9s Hunter and Utah spent a combined 13 years on the force and assisted in the arrests of over 500 suspects and searches of more than 600 buildings and areas.

Hunter (shown in the first 2 photos to the left) joined the EPD Canine unit in July of 2006 and serving alongside his partner Officer Baeder until April 2013. One of the pair's most notable busts came when Hunter alerted Baeder to the odor of narcotics in a travel trailer. An investigation into the smell revealed 160 kilos of cocaine.

When the heat wasn't on, Hunter, a Belgian malinois, enjoyed being friendly with other officers who would often sneak him treats through the cruiser window while Baeder wasn't paying attention. Hunter spent his retired years at Baeder's house tearing apart any stuffed animal he could get his teeth on. The second picture to the left shows Hunter snacking on serving of steak and mashed potatoes on his 14th birthday.

He passed away on September 14.

Utah started his career with EPD in June of 2008 and served at Officer Banks' side until his retirement in September of 2013. He was known among officers as a "social butterfly" because of his friendliness and the way he would nudge their hands when he wanted a petting. He was also a Belgian malinois.

Utah helped bring down a suspect wanted for shooting at officers and was subsequently named in a city of Escondido proclamation. He is the only EPD K-9 to ever have that honor.

He passed away on September 15.

Both Officers Baeder and Banks still serve on the Canine Unit with new service dogs.

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