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Hero Down: Texas DPS Highway Patrol K9 Byrd Succumbs To Heatstroke

Alice, TX – Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Highway Patrol K9 Byrd died in the line of duty on Aug. 3 after the cooling system in his handler’s patrol unit failed.

The six-year-old Labrador retriever succumbed to heatstroke, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

“It is with great sadness that the DPS Canine Program announces the death of narcotic detector canine ‘Byrd,’” the DPS South Texas Region said in a Facebook post the following day.

The agency confirmed K9 Byrd died as a result of a line-of-duty “heat-related illness.”

Additional details regarding the circumstances of his death have not been released.

K9 Byrd, the offspring of retired DPS K9 Chevy, was donated to the agency by Texas Highway Patrol K9 Sergeant Jason Galvan, according to the Facebook post.

He was DPS’s 163rd narcotics detector K9.

During the two years he spent serving alongside his human partner, DPS Trooper Luis Gonzalez, K9 Byrd conducted more than 131 searches and located 494 grams of methamphetamine, 39 grams of heroin, 54,172 grams of cocaine, more than 54 pounds of marijuana, and $142,000 in cash, the DPS said.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol and Trooper Gonzalez in the loss of K9 Byrd.

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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