The Bend Police Department announced in sadness Wednesday that it has lost retired K-9 "Amor," who passed away July 15 at the age of 14.
Amor was partnered with Officer Leo "Lucky" Lotito from 1999 through 2008.
"Amor and Officer Lotito were an amazing duo and they were responsible for many incredible accomplishments during their career," Officer James Kinsella said in announcing the dog's passing.
"Most notably, Amor had 268 suspect apprehensions and over 40 article (evidence) finds," Kinsella said. "Officer Lotito and Amor had nearly 2,000 hours of training together during their time on the street.
Kinsella said the dog and his handler "set the bar for K-9 teams in Central Oregon and the successes they had as a team are incredible."
"Not only was Amor a spectacular K-9, but he was also a beloved family member of Officer Lotito's family, as well as the Bend Police Department family," the officer said.
"Amor will always be remembered for his incredible ability to track down suspects and help keep our community safe," Kinsella wrote. "When Amor wasn't being deployed on an active call he could often be found in one of the local schools educating the children while they crawled all over him."
"Amor was a special K9 and he will be missed tremendously by his family and the countless officers he assisted throughout his career. Amor's tremendous career was (followed) by an even better retirement, where he was loved and cared for by Officer Lotito and his family.," he said
Officer Lotito was able to provide Amor with all of the veterinarian care he needed during his retired years, thanks in large part to the generous donations by "The Friends of K-9" sponsors and donors. "The Friends of K-9" helps retired police dogs and their owners with the expenses that accompany a retired police K-9.
Lotito remains a state trainer for the Oregon Police Canine Association where he shares his knowledge of K-9 with Bend Police Department's two current patrol K-9 teams.
"A fully trained Police K-9 costs over $10,000," KInsella said, "and Amor earned every penny of that, and then some."
Donations can be made to the Friends of K-9 by going to: http://www.ci.bend.or.us/index.aspx?page=780