Williamson County Sheriff’s Office mourns the loss of its K9 off - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Williamson County Sheriff’s Office mourns the loss of its K9 officer

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MARION (WSIL) -- It's an emotional week for Sergeant James Wright. With tears in his eyes and trembling hands he describes the moments he had with his beloved K9 partner, Indy.  

Sergeant Wright says, "She just was very social and loved to play. Was a constant people pleaser."

Sergeant Wright explains, as fun and out going as Indy was, the K9 officer took her job very serious by helping with drug and money seizures, locating lost or missing people, and catching felony suspects. Her hard work paid off. She recently took home multiple awards from the Canine Olympics in Indiana. But things took an unexpected turn Tuesday.

"She appeared to be struggling breathing.It was just panic. You know I really don't know how to describe it," he explains.

Sergeant Wright took Indy to a local veterinarian where moments later he was informed Indy didn't make it. Sergeant Wright says the news was heartbreaking.

"You know I just sat there. in my squad car just beside myself you know lost not knowing what to do," he says. 

Sergeant Wright says the veterinarian believes Indy's death might have been caused while on the job, "Maybe a stomach bleed or internal bleeding from possibly like an environmental exposure."

Sergeant Wright says he has worked with many K9 officers since 2003. But the bond he built with Indy will never be broken. 

"It's hard. It's hard on my family. That's all they ever known. They see that I'm hurting," says Sergeant Wright. 

The Williamson County Sheriff's Office is working to get another K-9 officer. Officials say the process takes nearly a year.

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