Lithonia, GA – Lithonia Police Department (LPD) K9 Perro died on Aug. 29 after he escaped from his handler’s yard and was shot by an unidentified person, according to police.
The 12-year-old Belgian Malinois’ handler, LPD Major J. Patterson, realized the K9 was missing after he went out to his backyard to check on him at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Sunday and discovered that a board in the fence was broken, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
A search for K9 Perro was immediately launched.
Investigators said the police dog was last seen in the area of Flakes Mill Road, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
LPD Chief Donald Dejarnette said a DeKalb County Animal Control officer found K9 Perro suffering from a severe gunshot wound early the following morning.
Due to the severity of his injuries, the emergency decision was made to humanely euthanize the beloved K9, Chief Dejarnette confirmed.
“Perro will be missed dearly, not only within the department but throughout the community,” the chief told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “At this time, we would ask for privacy for our K-9 handler Major Patterson and his family as they grieve not only for the loss of Major Patterson’s partner but a true friend and family member within his family.”
It is unknown who shot K9 Perro or what events preceded the shooting, according to police.
“As of right now we do not have a location where he was shot as well as if there were any calls of a nuisance dog or a dog being shot,” the LPD said, according to WSB.
K9 Perro was the LPD’s first and only K9, WGCL reported.
A procession of law enforcement vehicles escorted the fallen K9’s body from the Village Veterinary Clinic in Decatur to the Wheeler PETuary in Covington on Sept. 1.
.@LithoniaPolice searching for missing K9 Officer Perro. The K9 was last seen in the area of Flakes Mill Road. Police are asking anyone who sees or comes in contact with Perro to not try and catch him. Instead, tell Perro to sit and call 911 or Lithonia Police at (678)267-4911. pic.twitter.com/X3ta8JXVl4
— ThomasDBradley (@ThomasDBradley) August 29, 2022
#RightNow: Police officers from several jurisdictions give a hero’s farewell to K9 Officer Perro, the city of Lithonia’s only canine officer. I’ll have more at noon on @cbs46. pic.twitter.com/L6L6N4aQr1
— Rebekka Schramm (@SchrammCBS46) September 1, 2022
Honoring #K9 #Perro from #Lithonia #Georgia .#Thankyouforyourservice K9 and #thankyou for serving your #community and giving the ultimate #sacrifice .
Always remembered, never forgotten.#RestinPeace #K9hero .#vestedinterestink9s #vik9s #vestedinterest #atlanta pic.twitter.com/AGliZPOVpO
— Vested Interest in K9s (@VIK9s) September 2, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lithonia Police Department and Major Patterson in the loss of K9 Perro.