UPDATE: The cause of death of fallen KCSO K9 Hannes has been determined following a necropsy.
The full release can be seen below:
On August 19, 2022, K-9 Hannes was transported to UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Center in Tulare, CA for a necropsy to determine his cause of death. Per the findings, the most compatible cause of death was identified as heat stroke. There were no other significant findings to determine that Hannes had any underlying conditions that would make him more susceptible to heat stroke. Per the medical findings, heat stroke in canines can come on fast and often not apparent in highly focused dogs until it is too late. In review of these circumstances of the incident, it was found Hannes was involved in actively searching for the subjects that fled from deputies the previous day for a total of 8 minutes. We also found that Deputy Fisher and Hannes were outside of their patrol vehicle for a total of 27 minutes prior to the medical emergency. Hannes was not wearing his ballistic vest on this call due to the heat.
All the K-9 Sheriff’s Office vehicles are specifically built and specially equipped with air conditioning units that enhance cooler temperatures in the kennel area. The kennel areas area also equipped with a spill proof water bowl. K-9 vehicles are kept running throughout their shifts to ensure that the vehicle is kept cool as well as equipped with heat sensors that will cause an alarm on the K-9 handlers’ belt to go off and the windows to roll down to alert that the K-9 is in danger due to rising temperatures. Handlers determine when to deploy their K-9 partner and typically will only deploy their K-9 partner on hot days for serious crimes of violence; however, the handler will monitor their partner for signs of heat distress when deployed. All K-9 handlers receive K-9 medical aid training prior to a K-9 being put in service. The Kern County Sheriff’s Office places a high priority on the safety and well-being of our canines.
The Kern County Sheriff’s Office has issued the following update regarding the death of their K9 unit Hannes on Thursday in Lamont.
The full statement can be seen below:
We would like to thank the community for the outpouring of support and concern for our K-9 team, Deputy Fisher and Hannes. The condolences and kind words have not fallen on deaf ears. We hear and see all that this community does in support of KCSO and appreciate it all.
The words in the sign off were written by Deputy Robert Fisher, Hannes’ handler and partner. To say that we are deeply saddened would be an understatement. Our hearts are heavy with grief as we mourn the loss of an amazing K-9 and stand in support with our own Deputy Fisher as he faces this devastating loss.
We would like to share some words written to our fallen K-9 by his handler.
Each day you greeted me with a smile, a wagging tail, and an eagerness to work. For the last year and a half, you were my best friend and partner. You stood behind me in the car and by my side each shift in the car or on a search. You answered every call without hesitation and pushed me to be a better man. You taught me patience and how to be safer. You never wavered when I asked you to search in front of me and find the people placing our community in danger. At demonstrations you were the kids favorite, the social pup that would place your paws on my chest and want to be the center of attention. At home you stole a place in all of our hearts that will never be filled. You fought to the very end and gave me and this community your all. Due to your dedication and drive, the citizens of this county could rest easier knowing you were on watch. You touched this community, agency, K-9 unit, family, and me more than you’d ever know. Enjoy the unlimited jute rolls, introduce yourself to Phil and get those scratches you loved. I’ll see you on the other side buddy, rest easy.
Hannes – EOW August 18, 2022
K-9 Hannes began his watch April 24, 2021. For the next year, Hannes would serve Kern County and its residents by successfully locating numerous violent suspects and pounds of illegal narcotics. Hannes truly enjoyed demonstrations with the community and children of Kern County, to show just how great the life of a police service dog really was.
Without fear, Hannes entered several dangerous situations in order to ensure the Deputies of Kern County went home safely to their families and loved ones. During your service, you truly were the definition of a “man’s best friend”. You will be sorely missed by your community, your partners in Law Enforcement, and your family at home. Rest easy buddy, we’ve got it from here.