Columbia County, FL – Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) K9 Drago died in the line of duty on June 15 after suffering a “heat-related injury” during a training session one day earlier, according to his department.
The five-year-old German shepherd was participating in training exercises at Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park on Battlefield Trail Road on June 14 when he began exhibiting signs of heatstroke, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
K9 Drago was immediately rushed to a veterinarian clinic for treatment, the CCSO said in a press release.
After he was stabilized, he was released to go home with his handler to continue his recovery.
“Unfortunately, when his handler was checking on him throughout the evening it was discovered Drago had passed away,” the sheriff’s office said.
K9 Drago joined the CCSO in November of 2017.
“It really hurts to lose a member of the CCSO family,” Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter said in the agency’s press release. “Drago was one of our most senior Canine Deputies and his loss will be felt within our K9 program and our CCSO family.”
K9 Drago 🐾🐾
The Columbia County Sheriff's Office and the Waddington family are mourning the loss of one of their own, K9 Drago. Drago died yesterday in the line of duty from a heat related injury.
Rest easy good boy. We will never forget you. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/6xqqcMApbg
— ALPHA PRO 🇺🇸🇪🇺🇺🇦 (@DTMsport) June 16, 2022
— ODMP.org (@ODMP) June 23, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office in the loss of K9 Drago.