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Old 01-26-2006, 10:25 AM
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Default Vancouver police dog Nitro dies in line of duty

Vancouver police dog Nitro dies in line of duty

Updated Wed. Jan. 25 2006 11:26 PM ET News Staff

A police dog who lost his life in the line of duty was described as a fierce and loyal member of the Vancouver Police Department.

Nitro, a German shepherd who was scheduled to retire this summer, was run over by a train Monday night while pursuing a suspected car thief, said an emotional Insp. Dean Robinson of the Vancouver Police Department at a news conference on Wednesday.

"One individual that is now in custody that Nitro was keying on, turned at the last second and began to board this train, to climb across the train," he said.

"And as luck would have it, if you can call it luck, that's when the train began to move and Nitro lost his grip and was sucked under the train," Robinson said.

Police officers had followed a stolen car from Vancouver to New Westminster. Nitro, a six-year veteran of the team, was dispatched when one of the suspects tried to escape by jumping on the stationary train.

His handler, Howard Rutter, described the bond that developed between himself and the dog.

"There's kinship that goes on in the police world per se, but specifically with the dog squad, when they say the best partner is a dog, I believe it," Rutter said.

Robinson said Nitro was passionate about his work, and little could have been done to prevent his death.

"This is the life, unfortunately, that the dog lived every day," Robinson said. "This was his life, this was what kept him young, this is what kept him interested in performing for Howard and the police service. So there's nothing else that could have been done."

Nitro will join six other former police dogs that have lost their lives since the late 1950s while working with the Vancouver Police Department . His portrait will be placed alongside the others on the "Wall of Valour" in police headquarters. The last police dog to die in the line of duty was Sabre, who succumbed to injuries suffered in a police cruiser crash just before Christmas 1989.

The Vancouver Police Department Dog Squad began in 1957. It consists of two teams that are each comprised of seven criminal apprehension dogs and one narcotic dog. The department also has one explosives dog.

Police dogs are typically retired when they reach about eight to 10 years of age. Dog handlers are responsible for their dogs at all times.

With a report from CTV Vancouver's Lisa Rossington


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Old 01-26-2006, 11:41 AM
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Oh that's sad. That is very, very sad. Hopefully, Nitro didn't hurt when he passed on.
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Old 01-26-2006, 01:30 PM
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I agree that is a very sad story. At least he died doing what he loved.
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Old 01-26-2006, 05:36 PM
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Here is a link to the formal notice provided by the Vancouver Police Department. Click on Nitro about half way down the page.
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Old 01-26-2006, 10:33 PM
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Definately made me cry..

Its sad to think of the reality that is put into that type of career for the dog. This is what i'm actually trying to get into (the K9 Unit). I have heard of a few other stories like this involving the police dogs
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