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Hero Down: Kern County Sheriff’s Office K9 Hannes Succumbs To Heatstroke After Search For Gunman

Bakersfield, CA – Kern County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) K9 Hannes died in the line of duty on Aug .18 after suffering heatstroke while searching for a shooting suspect, according to police.

The series of events leading to the beloved K9’s death began at approximately 11:10 a.m., when deputies at the KCSO’s Lamont Substation received a report of a shooting in the area of Habecker Road and Panama Road, the sheriff’s office said in a press release the following morning.

The person who reported the shooting said a person was wounded in the attack.

Deputies responded to the scene and launched a search for the gunman with the help of a KCSO Air Support Unit and K9 Hannes.

Temperatures in the area soared well over 100 degrees that day, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

They tracked two male suspects to a grape vineyard and set up a perimeter.

Approximately 15 minutes later, K9 Hannes and his partner located one of the suspects, but he refused to comply with their commands and took of running, the KCSO said in the press release.

Deputies were eventually able to take the suspect into custody.

A short while later, K9 Hannes began exhibiting signs of “distress” and was immediately rushed to an emergency animal hospital by his handler, KCSO Deputy Robert Fisher, KGET reported.

The three-year-old Belgian Malinois succumbed to complications of heatstroke a short while later, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

The KCSO said they never located the alleged victim associated with the initial shooting report.

The investigation into the incident remained ongoing.

K9 Hannes served the KCSO for 18 months, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

“To say that we are deeply saddened would be an understatement,” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post. “Our hearts are heavy with grief as we mourn the loss of an amazing K-9 and stand in support with our own Deputy Fisher as he faces this devastating loss.”

The sheriff’s office also shared a message Deputy Fisher wrote to his four-legged partner, thanking him for his devoted service and friendship.

“Each day you greeted me with a smile, a wagging tail, and an eagerness to work. For the last year and a half, you were my best friend and partner,” he said. “You stood behind me in the car and by my side each shift in the car or on a search. You answered every call without hesitation and pushed me to be a better man. You taught me patience and how to be safer. You never wavered when I asked you to search in front of me and find the people placing our community in danger.”

“At demonstrations you were the kids favorite, the social pup that would place your paws on my chest and want to be the center of attention,” Deputy Fisher continued. “At home you stole a place in all of our hearts that will never be filled. You fought to the very end and gave me and this community your all. Due to your dedication and drive, the citizens of this county could rest easier knowing you were on watch. You touched this community, agency, K-9 unit, family, and me more than you’d ever know…I’ll see you on the other side buddy, rest easy.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and Deputy Fisher in the loss of K9 Hannes.

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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