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July 1st, 2008
Tempe Police Department

Officer John Holdinsky has served the Tempe Police Department for 22 years. His partner, K-9 Baloo, was a patrol-trained and narcotics-trained police dog. K-9 Baloo ws purchased in 2004 by the Tempe Police Department, at a cost of $6,500.00. His training, along with that of his handler, cost an additional $20,000.00.

On the evening of June 30th, 2008, Officer John Holdinsky and K-9 Baloo, responded to a suspicious activity call at 18:30hrs., near the Farmer Street Lofts Project. Police already on scene had learned that two male suspects were possibly attempting to steal copper. Suspects were last seen running into the fenced in Farmer Street Lofts Project, which is under construction at 450 S. Farmer Ave., near University Drive and Mill Avenue.

Officer Holdinsky and K-9 Baloo began to search the area for the suspects. During the search, K-9 Baloo was on the roof and unable to navigate it correctly, resulting in his falling over 40 feet to the ground below. K-9 Baloo survived the fall and was found by officers, lying on his stomach, unable to move. He was then rushed to the First Regional Animal Hospital.

Veterinarians worked valiantly through the night trying to save K-9 Baloo. It was determined that K-9 Baloo had suffered massive spinal and internal injuries during the steep fall. K-9 Baloo passed away at 2:15 in the morning on July 1st, with his handler, Officer John Holdinsky and his wife, Carol, and members of the Tempe K-9 Unit at his side.

K-9 Baloo is missed by his handler and his family, who he resided with when he wasn't on duty, members of the Tempe K-9 Unit, and by members of the Tempe Police Department.


Click to read news article about Baloo

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