DANVILLE, Ind. -- A Hendricks County Deputy begins a new chapter after his K-9 partner becomes ill while on duty, and passes away.
Deputy Shaun Caffee and his dog Cade were searching for a suspect in Brownsburg in early July when the dog fell ill. He was pulled off the job, and rushed to the vet. He passed away the next morning. The vet telling deputies he suffered from Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV), which is common in large working dogs.
“Basically his stomach or intestines get twisted inside," said Hendricks County K-9 Program Supervisor Kyle Schaefer, "That caused a lot of internal damages”
Schaefer has his own ties to Cade. His dog Bach is Cade's father. The lead pooch was bred with a dog who works for Indiana Homeland Security, creating the perfect offspring. His loss sent a ripple effect through the department.
“Its hard to watch a brother officer suffer like that,” Hendricks County Captain Amanda Goings said of Deputy Caffee's devastating loss.
“I think we all were," Schaefer said. "It’s family.”
Caffee is beginning a new partnership with Tempus, his latest dog. The youngster is going through six to eight weeks of training.
“Right now we are doing narcotics training certification," Schaefer said.
“As of right now this is the only thing he knows," Caffee said pointing to a tennis ball by his car.
Caffee and Schaefer hide drugs, and if he finds it, the pooch gets to play tug of war with the tennis ball attached to a string. Schaefer calls it "The Game."
“We use the tennis ball as somewhat of a reward," Schaefer said, “He looks back at dad and says, "Hey it's over here dad! Come pay me, lets play, lets play!"
After narcotics, he will move to searching for suspects before moving to patrol training.
“He’s a young energetic dog, so its nice to have life breathed back into this situation," Captain Goings said.
“We as handlers get so attached to these dogs. We spend more time with these dogs than our family,” Schaefer said.