The Winnipeg Police Service is mourning the sudden passing of a beloved police service dog.
On December 4th, a dual-purpose K9 for the police known as Banner was taken into the Bridgwater Veterinarian Hospital after showing signs of illness on December 3.
It was discovered that Banner had an "aggressive cancer that was causing him to deteriorate rapidly," Cst. Justin Casavant says in a statement.
PSD Banner was born on May 9th, 2013 and joined the Canine Unit in 2014. He specialized in tracking and tactical support work. PSD Banner made more than 200 tracking arrests, "including the arrest of Brian Thomas, who was convicted of the murder of Winnipeg Transit driver Irvine Fraser," Casavant says.
"It was a great ride that ended way too soon."
On PSD Banner's last shift, he tracked down two individuals from a stolen vehicle to a residence which led to their arrests.
Cassie Maeren watched as Cst. Casavant walked into the clinic with PSD Banner.
She says multiple police cars approached the building after their arrival. Maeren claims all of the officers began sobbing upon Cst. Casavant's exit. The K9 unit then pulled out of the parking lot with a car processional in honour of PSD Banner.
Maeren fell witness to the emotional scene and says, "It was an absolutely beautiful send-off for the police K9 and although it was devastating to see this, it made me so happy to see the respect and honour that was given to that dog by his handler and other police officers."
"It was a great ride that ended way too soon; we wore our hearts on our sleeves and left it all out on the streets," Cst. Casavant says.
The Winnipeg Police Service is grateful for his service.
It is with great sadness we announce the sudden passing of Police Service Dog Banner. PSD Banner was a Dual Purpose Canine and has served with the Canine Unit since 2014. You will be missed by all. pic.twitter.com/Lvsnx6TP06— Winnipeg Police (@wpgpolice) December 5, 2019