Greenville, NC – Greenville Police Department (GPD) K9 Pepper died in the line of duty on Nov. 16 after being bitten by a poisonous snake.
The three-year-old Belgian Malinois and his human partner, GPD Officer Bobby Parker, were participating a training session in a wooded area when the incident occurred, WITN reported.
Officer Parker said he didn’t initially realize K9 Pepper was injured – let alone that he had been bitten by a venomous snake.
“With something like a snake bite or an injury these dogs don’t whimper, and these dogs don’t let you know that they’re hurt. Especially a dog like Pepper,” Officer Parker told WITN. “Without having any signs like that and of course a snake bite in the beginning doesn’t show any signs because the dogs have fur on them. With a human you’d see something right away.”
Although the exact type of snake that bit the police dog is not known, police said they believe it was a copperhead.
K9 Pepper was rushed to the veterinarian immediately after Officer Parker realized he was injured, but he did not survive, WITN reported.
The GPD announced the beloved K9’s death in a Facebook post.
“It is with great sadness that Chief Sauls and the rest of the Greenville Police Department announce the passing of K9 Pepper,” the post read. “Sadly, Pepper died as a result of complications from a snake bite last week.”
The dual-purpose tracking/apprehension and drug detection K9 served the GPD for three years, according his department.
“Pepper may have been small in stature but he was a feisty guy and arrived at the Greenville Police Department ready to work,” the GPD said.
“Please keep Pepper’s handler, Officer Bobby Parker, in your thoughts and prayers,” the police department said. “It is never easy to lose a partner in our line of work — our four-legged ones hold an extra special place in our hearts.”
— Texas FOF (@texas_fof) November 22, 2022
Our sympathies are with the Greenville Police Department and the handler and friends of K-9 Pepper, who died from a snake bite he received while training in a wooded area in Greenville. K-9 Pepper had served with the police department for three years. @ATFCharlotte #LODD #EOW #K9 pic.twitter.com/cmDOo0Ecm9
— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) November 26, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Greenville Police Department and Officer Parker in the loss of K9 Pepper.