By CHRISTIAN WHITTLE & TESS KENNY
NEWS-PRESS STAFF WRITERS
Chop, the 2-year-old Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s K9, died Wednesday after experiencing a medical emergency, the Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday.
Chop, who was partnered with Sheriff’s Deputy Shane Moore, was immediately rushed to emergency surgery, and sadly did not survive.
According to Sheriff’s spokesperson Raquel Zick, there will be no necropsy conducted and had no further comment on the cause of death at this time.
“Chop was an excellent K9, who has been patrolling with Deputy Moore for the past 11 months. His mere presence caused the surrender and apprehension of many offenders. It was apparent in his young career that he loved going to work,” Ms. Zick said.
Chop was brought to the Sheriff’s Office via funding from the Sheriff’s Benevolent Posse’s Project Deputy Dog program, according to a Sheriff’s Office press release. He is the second dog purchased for the Sheriff’s Office thanks to a generous donation from Reece and Christine Duca of Carpinteria.
Mr. Duca told the News-Press in June that Chop is named after an old friend of his named Charles, whose mother called him “Lamb Chop” growing up. Mr. Duca described his friend as a man who is “taking care of everyone all the time”, and thought it was a fitting name for the K9 team’s newest member.
When the News-Press met Chop in June, he was the sixth animal to join the K9 team and was training to become a narcotics dog. Deputy Moore told the News-Press Chop loved to play and got along “perfectly” with the other dogs.
“He can be very high energy. He’s very young, but he’s very friendly. He loves to hang out with people,” said Deputy Moore.
In his announcement to Sheriff’s Office employees, Sheriff Bill Brown asked that they keep Deputy Moore and the rest of the K9 family in their thoughts as they work through this difficult time.
“The bond between a handler and K9 is strong. They spend an immense amount of time training together for life-threatening situations, they work together every day and they live together,” said Ms. Zick.