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Hero Down: Watertown Police K9 Kato Dies After Medical Emergency During Training Session

Watertown, MA – Watertown Police Department (WPD) K9 Kato died in the line of duty on May 23 after suffering a medical emergency during a training session, according to his department.

The exact nature of K9 Kato’s medical condition was not released.

The WPD announced the four-year-old German shepherd’s death in a Facebook post later that day.

“It is with great sadness that Chief [Michael] Lawn and the members of the Watertown Police Department inform you of the passing of our beloved K9 Kato,” the department said. “Kato suffered a medical emergency while at training, and sadly did not recover. Please keep his K9 handler, Officer [Andrew] Civetti and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”

K9 Kato served alongside Officer Civetti for his entire career.

The duo trained together at the Boston Police Training Academy in Jamaica Plain before hitting the streets of Watertown, the Watertown News reported.

In addition to protecting his fellow officers, K9 Kato assisted in searching for narcotics, suspects, and missing people, the department said in 2019.

K9 Kato was the first dog to join the WPD since the 1990s, the Watertown News reported.

Nearly 200 people offered their condolences to the WPD and Officer Civetti in response to the department’s post about the loss of the beloved police K9.

“This is such sad news for Watertown residents who were charmed when puppy Kato joined the force,” one message read. “To Officer Civetti and his family, sincerest condolences.”

“Rest in Peace K9 Kato,” another person wrote. “Thank you for your service. Our deepest condolences go out to Officer Civetti and his family as they struggle through this loss.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Watertown Police Department and Officer Civetti in the loss of K9 Kato.

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.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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