BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Officials announced health problems have forced the retirement of the longest serving detector dog in the history of the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office.
They said "Buddy," a 110-pound Labrador Retriever who has been with the office for 12 years, is suffering from hip dysplasia and other age-related ailments that affect a number of canine breeds. Some said it is possible he is the longest serving K9 in Louisiana. The fire marshal's office said "Buddy" will remain in the care of his handler, Capt. Richard Abbott, for the remainder of his life.
"Of course, we're saddened to see 'Buddy' leave us," said State Fire Marshal Butch Browning in a written release. "But considering the number of years and the manner in which he has served the people of Louisiana, I believe he needs now to just enjoy the retirement he has earned and so richly deserves."
Officials said "Buddy" has been with the fire marshal's office since Nov. 13, 2002. They added he was given to Louisiana by the City of New York in appreciation for two fire trucks the state donated to New York after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He and Abbott then underwent four months of training in New York.
According to the fire marshal's office, "Buddy" has helped nearly every fire department in northern Louisiana, investigating hundreds of fire scenes that resulted in dozens of arrests, including arson-related homicides and insurance fraud schemes.
Officials added "Buddy" is the only New York-trained K9 to serve in a different state. His retirement comes on the heels of K9 "Darge" also calling it quits with the fire marshal's office after nearly 10 years of service.
We wish them both well.
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