Retired MH police dog dies

Gary Smith and Dusty

Morgan Hill
– Dusty, a retired Morgan Hill police dog, has died, Morgan Hill
Police announced Monday. Dusty, a German shepherd, served the
community from February 1998 until July, 2001.
Morgan Hill – Dusty, a retired Morgan Hill police dog, has died, Morgan Hill Police announced Monday. Dusty, a German shepherd, served the community from February 1998 until July, 2001.

The much loved and respected canine officer was assigned to the K-9 unit with officer Gary Smith, and the two made an extremely successful team, according to Lt. Terrie Booten.

“Dusty found several suspects, including one who was hiding underwater in a canal and another who was located on top of a large (recreational vehicle) in a citizen’s backyard,” Booten said.

The dog’s abilities and personality were demonstrated many times to the community at schools, senior centers and every year at the National Night Out campaign.

In July 2001, Dusty suffered a career-ending injury to his right rear leg which forced his early retirement from the police force. Smith bought him from the city and Dusty joined the Smith family as a pet where he has lived ever since.

Smith told Lt. Terrie Booten about Dusty’s sense of humor.

One time Smith had ordered a four-piece chicken meal at Kentucky Fried Chicken and then got a high-priority call. He put the box of chicken on the front passenger seat while he handled the call. When he returned, Dusty was wagging his tail. Smith found no sign of the chicken or the box.

Booten said Dusty will be missed by the members of the police department, the community of Morgan Hill and by Smith and his family as well.

Another German shepherd, Sasko, replaced Dusty on the force and is now working with Smith in the Morgan Hill Police K-9 unit. Sasko also is trained as a narcotics-sniffing dog.

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