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We regret to report the loss of Police K-9 Ronin, of the
Glendale Police Department

On June 20th, 2013 Officer Wes Zygmont and his canine partner Ronin responded to assist patrol with locating a suspect who fled on foot from officers and recently just committed an armed robbery. While establishing a search team, officers received information that the suspect was running through backyards and was possibly armed.

Officer Wes Zygmont began a search with Ronin and narrowed the suspectís location to  a backyard. As officers were clearing the backyard, Ronin located the suspect hiding underneath an in ground trampoline. Ronin bit the suspect and while officers were attempting to take him into custody, the suspect produced a handgun. As Ronin was  biting the suspect, Officer Wes Zygmont attempted to gain control of the handgun; however the suspect was able to fire. The rounds struck Officer Wes Zygmont in the  hand and foot and one round fatally wounded Ronin. Officers were able to return fire    and mortally wounded the suspect.

Officers later learned the suspect was lying in a position of advantage underneath the trampoline waiting to ambush approaching officers. Officer Wes Zygmont and Ronin recently just completed an academy and this was his first actual apprehension.


We regret to report the loss of Police K-9 Ivan, of the
Tucson Police Department

A man suspected in a carjacking and a Tucson police dog were shot and killed late Wednesday. The incident began when a man called 911 at 10:47 p.m. to report that a gunman had stolen his pickup truck outside a Dominoís Pizza. Minutes later a patrol officer spotted the truck and attempted to pull it over. Instead, the driver led the officer on a chase. The man continued driving even after crashing into a fence. After pulling into an alleyway, the driver got out of the truck and fled on foot. He was chased by several officers and the police dog. A confrontation in a front yard of a house resulted in the shooting. Police said Thursday afternoon that the man held a large-caliber gun up to his head. At that time, Ivan bit the man on the arm and the man shot and killed Ivan, Tucson police said. Officers told the man to drop his gun, but he refused. He was fatally shot. The alleged carjacker was pronounced dead at the scene. Ivan died at a veterinary hospital. The entire incident took just eight minutes.


We regret to report the loss of Police K-9 Baloo, of the
Tempe Police Department

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, 2008, 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 remembered for his courageousness and dedication to his K-9 Duties. 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.


We regret to report the loss of Police K-9 Rico, of the
Arizona Department of Public Safety

On the evening of August 20th, 2007, at approximately 19:10 hours, Officer Keith Duckett observed a Chevrolet pickup truck speeding excessively in the vicinity of mile marker 287, on Interstate 10, just outside of Benson, Arizona. Officer Duckett then turned on his emergency lights and attempted to pull the speeding vehicle over. Instead of pulling over to the side of the interstate, the speeding vehicle proceeded to accelerate even more with Officer Duckett now close behind in a brief pursuit of the fleeing vehicle that lasted approximately three miles, with the suspect driver now leaving the interstate and crashing the vehicle on the side of the roadway, who then exited the vehicle along with the passenger and began to run away. Officer Duckett inspected the suspect vehicle and noticed a large quantity of marijuana in the rear of the pickup truck, at which time both he and  K-9 Rico engaged in a foot pursuit of the fleeing suspects. Officer Duckett caught up to and apprehended one of the suspects, at which time he then noticed that K-9 Rico was no longer in sight. For some unknown reason, K-9 Rico became distracted and instinctively returned to the DPS patrol vehicle. At some point after this the second suspect was taken into custody, while K-9 Rico ran out onto Interstate 10, where he was fatally injured by a tractor and trailer. The two suspects were identified as illegal aliens from Mexico and were booked into the Pima County jail on suspicion of transportation of marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale. The amount of marijuana being transported by the suspects weighed in at 967 pounds.

K-9 Rico is remembered for his courageousness and dedication to his K-9 Duties. He is missed by his handler and his family, whom he resided with when he wasn't on duty, members of the Arizona Department of Public Safety's K-9 Unit, and by members of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.


We regret to report the loss of Police K-9 Leon, of the
Mesa Police Department

On March 20th, 2007, at approximately 22:15 hours, Officer Lafontaine detained a suspicious person on a bike in the K-Mart Parking Lot, located on the northwest corner of Lindsay Road and Main Street, in Mesa. Upon learning that the 19 year old detained subject was wanted on outstanding warrants for burglary and a probation violation, Officer Lafontaine attempted to take the suspect into custody with the suspect resisting arrest. The suspect assaulted Officer Lafontaine by throwing his bicycle at him, then proceeded to run south in the parking lot towards Main Street. Officer Lafontaine then deployed K-9 Leon to apprehend the fleeing suspect, who continued to run south through the parking lot and then proceeded to cross the street. K-9 Leon continued on in pursuit of the suspect and as he ran south across Main Street, he was struck by a car. Officer Lafontaine rushed over to his K-9 partner, placed him in his vehicle and proceeded to rush him to the veterinarian hospital, where K-9 Leon was pronounced dead on arrival. The suspect was later apprehended by Mesa Police Officers. In addition to being booked on the outstanding warrants, the suspect was also booked on suspicion of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and false reporting.

K-9 Leon is remembered not only for his courageousness and his agility, but also for his playful spirit. He is missed by his handler and his family, whom he resided with when he wasn't on duty, members of the Mesa K-9 Unit and by members of the Mesa Police Department.


We regret to report the loss of Police K-9 Robby, of the
Yuma County Sheriff's Office

On February 17th, 2007, K-9 Robby attended his last detail which was the 2007 Hank Days parade. K-9 Robby and his handler, Detention Officer James Rochester, represented the department as they have in past years by attending the parade procession. At approximately 18:44 hours, K-9 Robby suddenly passed away at Officer Rochester's residence where he was boarded. K-9 Robby has conducted random searches in the Detention Center prisoner housing units, Yuma County Courthouse and perimeter, In-coming property, high risk cell extractions, and over four hundred (400) hours of in-service training since 2001. Robby is sadly missed by his handler, the Yuma County Sheriff's Office, and all who knew and loved him.


We regret to report the loss of Police K-9 Miko, of the
City of Tucson Police Department

Just slightly over one month after dedicating The Arizona Police K-9 Memorial, we regret to announce yet another tragic loss,  the passing of K-9 Miko. K-9 Miko was with the City of Tucson Police Department and assigned to Officer and K-9 handler, Gary Schad, a 10 year veteran of the K-9 Unit. On May 28th, 2006, Officer Schad and K-9 Miko were hot on the trail of a suspected carjacker. K-9 Miko was deployed to catch the suspect who had bailed on foot. K-9 Miko pursued the suspected carjacker, who then jumped from an overpass at Kino and Aviation Parkways with K-9 Miko closely following. While the suspect was able to get away, K-9 Miko took a 30-foot-fall, breaking his back, shattering a leg and suffering neurological damage. He was euthanized as a result of his injuries. K-9 Miko has been cremated and his handler, Officer Gary Schad, said he, his wife and their 11-year-old son will decide in about a year where to spread his ashes. K-9 Miko is sadly missed by Officer Schad and his family, and by all who knew and worked with him.


We regret to report the loss of Police K-9 Rocky (Big Rock), of the
Mohave County Sheriff's Office

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Rocky (Big Rock). Rocky was with the Mohave County Sheriff's Office and K-9 handler, Deputy Raja Karim. Rocky died during surgery for a broken leg. There was a freak accident during a training session when after a building search in a two story building, Deputy Karim and Rocky were leaving the building. They were walking down the stairs when Rocky suddenly started to howl and hold up his right leg. There were no signs of injury during the scenario and Rocky had a great bite. Deputy Karim attended to Rocky and took him to the vet. It was determined that he had a broken leg and surgery was needed. Rocky passed away during the surgery. Rocky is greatly missed by his family, the Mohave County Sheriff's Office, and all that knew and loved him.

We regret to report the loss of Police K-9 Willie, of the
Apache County Sheriff's Office

The Apache County Sheriff's Office is sad to announce the death of K-9 "Willie", on August 19th, 2005.  K-9 "Willie" had been a partner to Calvin "Jay" Arnold for the past two years prior to his untimely death.. K-9 "Willie" was at another Deputy's residence and when the Deputy went out to check on Willie, he was dead. It is unknown at this time what the cause of death is and an autopsy is being done.   

K-9 "Willie" will be greatly missed by this agency and the schools throughout Apache County. K-9 "Willie" and Jay were active in doing drug free presentations at elementary schools in the county.

K-9 "Willie" was buried at the Apache County Sheriff's Office on Monday, August 8th, 2005, at 1400 hours.

We regret to report the loss of Police K-9 RJ, of the
Phoenix Police Department

On Saturday August 13th, 2005, at approximately 1830 hours, several officers from the Central City Precinct were pursuing a suspect for armed robbery.  Officer Bryan Hanania and his police service dog, R.J., were trying to apprehend the suspect after he fled his vehicle on foot in the neighborhood of 2100 East Garfield.  Officer Hanania and other officers chased the suspect into an alley where the suspect had reacquired his vehicle.  As the officers were in the alley, the suspect drove rapidly in their direction.  The suspect appeared to intentionally drive toward R.J. and struck the K-9 with his vehicle.  The officers were able to avoid being struck by the car and the suspect was eventually apprehended by other officers. 

Officers immediately transported R.J. to an emergency clinic where he was diagnosed with critical injuries to include a broken spine.  R.J. was euthanized as his injuries were determined to be insurmountable. 

R.J. was a three year old Belgium Malinois who was with Officer Hanania and the Phoenix Police Department's Canine Unit as a team for 18 months.  Officer Hanania and R.J. have deployed over three hundred times to assist officers in locating dangerous suspects and/or illegal narcotics.



Memorial News Links

The Memorial has been getting it's share of time in the newspapers. Click on the links below to read the news articles about the memorial, the Fundraising efforts, and some of out fallen partners. They are all listed by the title of the article.

"Raise a paw in salute to fallen K9 officers" August 26th, 2004 - Arizona Republic
"Dog killed on duty was fierce and gentle" July 22nd, 2004 - Arizona Daily Star
"Arizona memorial sought for fallen K-9 police dogs" July 28th, 2004 - Arizona Republic
"Memorial planned for canine officers killed during duty " August 4th,2004 - East Valley Tribune


Arizona State Representatives Vote on Memorial

On March 29th, 2004, the K-9 Memorial bill was voted on by the Arizona State House of Representatives. 52 of our Representatives voted for the memorial. There were 4 Representative however that voted against it. It has been reported that one of the Representatives that voted against the memorial had stated, "They are just dogs".

It is obvious to us that these four individuals have no idea what our canine partners mean to us and the communities that they serve. The Representatives that voted against the memorial were:

Ken Clark - District 15
Phil Hanson - District 9 - (this is the same Phil Hanson listed as being a co-sponsor for the bill)
William Konopnicki - District 5
Steve Tully - District 11

The Bill passed the Arizona State Senate Unanimously

Posted Aug 4, 2004


Arizona Police K-9 Memorial Bill Information
Bill Number SB1213
Click the bill number to view the actual Bill in PDF format.

Click this link if you need a PDF reader to view the Bill

The bill was introduced by the Arizona Police Association and Mesa Police Association, through Brian Livingston and Kelsey Lundy, of Williams and Associates, Lobbyists.

Primary Sponsors - Senator Jim Waring - District 7
Representatives John Nelson - District 17 and Cheryl Chase - District 7
Co Sponsors - Senators Robert Blendu - District 12, Jorge Garcia - District 27, Jack Harper - District 4, Jay Tibshraeny - District 21, Thayer Verschoor - District 22, and Representative Phil Hanson - District 9.

Bill History

2/04/04 - Passed Senate Government committee
2/10/04 - Passed Senate Rules committee
2/12/04 - Passed Senate 28-0; sent to House of Representatives
3/09/04 - Passed House Public Institutes and Counties
3/18/04 - Passed House Rules committee
3/25/04 - Passed Committee of the Whole
3/29/04 - Passed House 52-4; sent to Governor
4/05/04 - Signed into law by Governor Napolitano

Posted Aug 4th, 2004


Last Updated January 22nd, 2007