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Hero Down: Eugene Police Department K9 Cwyk Dies After Suffering Incurable Medical Issue

Eugene, OR – Eugene Police Department (EPD) K9 Cwyk died on Feb. 28 after suffering an incurable medical issue, according to his department.

K9 Cwyk fell ill after a recent training, the EPD said in a press release on March 2.

After a battery of medical tests, veterinarians and the EPD K9 team determined it was best to humanely euthanize the beloved eight-year-old police K9.

He passed away peacefully with his family and human partner, EPD Officer Owen Griffith, by his side.

“After a full day of playing with family and visiting the SWAT team, Cwyk spent his last moments with a full-mouth grip on his beloved bite pillow, his handler rubbing his ears,” the EPD said. “We’ll never forget his joyous spirit.”

K9 Cwyk joined the EPD in 2017.

He and Officer Griffith became a certified team in December of 2018.

“Cwyk and Officer Griffith developed a strong bond immediately,” the EPD said “Their trust – along with Cwyk’s excellent tracking ability – led to a number of patrol apprehensions early in their partnership.”

K9 Cwyk was soon chosen to join the EPD SWAT Unit’s Tactical K9 Team.

“His ability to work amongst SWAT officers in dangerous environments made him an invaluable tool,” the EPD said. “He was ever-present at the SWAT office, playing and jumping on tables and causing general, joyful havoc.”

The department said K9 Cwyk was one of the most talented and successful K9s in EDP’s history.

“Cwyk’s remarkable nose and tireless drive led to dozens upon dozens of captures in the ensuing years,” the agency said. “Nothing deterred him – he once tracked a would-be thief through six inches of snow, and another time helped subdue a barricaded subject in a dangerous, SWAT-related CS-gas environment. His tracking ability became the stuff of police dog legend.”

He made three apprehensions in just 90 minutes during his final days on patrol.

“Cwyk’s work ethic was matched only by his joy,” the EPD said. “When he wasn’t on patrol, he loved chasing birds, swimming, and biting his ever-present toy tire. Cwyk often visited briefings, jamming his tire into officer’s legs, demanding they play with him.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Eugene Police Department and Officer Griffith in the loss of K9 Cwyk.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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