DULUTH, MN — On Sunday, Authorities responded to the 1000 block of West Skyline Parkway not knowing it would be Haas’s last action as a K9 officer.
Those who knew him are remembering the sacrifices Haas made during his time with the Duluth Police Department while out protecting the community.
“He was so full of energy,” Northland K9 Foundation President Robbin Champaign said. “Very happy, very social, loved to be around people, and loved his job.”
Haas turned 3-years-old on January 5th, working with the Duluth Police Department for the last two years as a narcotics detection K9.
He was relatively young for being a Police K9. Champaigne says Police K9’s usually last about 9 years in their profession.
“All of the K9’s and the officers go through extensive training,” Champaigne said. “They go into extensive training before they even begin.”
While out on those dangerous situations, Sgt. Kelly Greenwalt says each dog has a bullet-proof vest, but the handler decides whether the vest will be worn in certain situations.
“We do take precautions,” Sgt. Greenwalt said. “We put vests on dogs when we believe it’s warranted, and we try not to put our in no-win situations.”
Sgt. Greenwalt didn’t say whether Haas had a vest on Sunday night, but admits that it’s a sad day for everyone involved.
“It’s a sad day. It’s a sad day for both families,” Sgt. Greenwalt said. “The police family, as well as the other gentleman involved, and, you know, this is not only felt not only within our department, it’s felt throughout the region.”
And the sacrifice of Officer K9 Haas will be remembered by many.
“In Minnesota, I don’t believe we’ve had a K9 down for probably about 30 years, so this really is significant. Significant to the community, significant to the agencies, and especially significant to Officer Haller and his family,” Champaigne said.