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Hero Down: South Portland Police Department K9 Trigger Succumbs To Cancer

South Portland, ME – South Portland Police Department (SPPD) K9 Trigger died on April 18 after a battle against cancer.

The 12-year-old German shepherd’s human partner, SPPD Lieutenant Kevin Theriault, received the “difficult news” of K9 Trigger’s cancer diagnosis shortly before his passing, the department said in a press release.

As the valiant K9 became “increasingly uncomfortable,” his veterinarian and the PPD made the difficult decision to end his suffering, the PPD said.

“Lt. Theriault, his family, and the South Portland Police Department are deeply saddened,” the department said. “SPPD has lost a devoted member of its team, one that served this community and expected nothing in return.”

K9 Trigger served his community for 10 years.

“Trigger was not only Kevin’s partner but also a co-worker to all who serve the City of South Portland,” the department said. “Exceptionally protective, Trigger also became a member of Lt. Theriault’s family and a guardian at home.”

K9 Trigger’s reputation throughout the state is legendary, according to SPPD Chief Daniel Ahern.

His work led to countless drug and weapon seizures and criminal apprehensions, and he also helped save many lost individuals, the SPPD said.

“We are forever in his debt and will never forget his loyalty, courage, and intelligence,” Chief Ahern said.

Hundreds of people offered their condolences to Lt. Theriault and the SPPD in response to the department’s announcement.

“I’m so so sorry to hear about this,” one message read. “A much-loved pet is hard enough to lose, but how he was a beloved and integral part of the police department, and how Trigger was not only his handler’s partner but part of his family, and a member of the South Portland police department, it makes it all the more difficult and painful to say goodbye. Prayers for all.”

“Beautiful Trigger thank you for your service,” another person wrote. “You were well loved and respected by all who knew you.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the South Portland Police Department and Lt. Kevin Theriault in the loss of K9 Trigger.

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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