Woodstock, Ont. police dog dies in line of duty after ingesting drugs

Woodstock Police Service announced K9 unit dog Taz died in the line of duty on July 3, 2023. Woodstock Police Service

A Woodstock police dog died in the line of duty earlier this week due to ingestion of drugs.

The Woodstock police K9 unit responded to a call to assist Stratford police with a drug-related investigation Monday evening. Stratford police say officers witnessed two suspects known to police throwing items out of a moving vehicle. The jettisoned items were later confirmed to be methamphetamine.

After both suspects were arrested around 8 p.m., Woodstock service dogs Taz and Striker assisted police with canvassing the area where items were thrown from the vehicle. During the search, both Striker and Taz showed signs of drug consumption.

Police say Narcan was administered to both animals as they were rushed to a veterinarian clinic, where Taz was pronounced deceased. Striker remained at the clinic under observation, and police say he has made enough progress that he returned home Wednesday.

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Taz joined the Woodstock police in 2021 for training and was officially deployed in 2022. While young, Woodstock police say Taz had developed into an outstanding detection dog and assisted in numerous arrests related to drugs and weapons investigations and numerous missing persons investigations.

“PSD Taz was well loved and cared for and will be greatly missed by his family, the entire Woodstock Police Service, his K9 friends and all of the groomers, vets and therapists who worked closely with him,” said Woodstock Police Service.

The Stratford police expressed their condolences to Woodstock for the death of Taz.

“We thank Taz for the service he provided to the City of Woodstock and its surrounding communities, including Stratford. Our thoughts are with the members of the Woodstock Police Service and for all those who cared for Taz,” Stratford police said in a statement.

Stratford police say both suspects, a 48-year-old man and a 55-year-old man, are facing charges related to possession of a schedule 1 substance for the purpose of trafficking, obstructing police, mischief endangering life and injuring or killing animals.

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