Columbus police mourn death of retired police dog: ‘Run freely in the fields of heaven chasing tennis balls’

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COLUMBUS, Ind. – The Columbus Police Department is mourning the loss of one of its own.

Retired police dog Rex died on Monday, Dec. 26. He spent eight years with the department. Rex was born in the Czech Republic in 2006 and joined his partner, K-9 Office Chad Lehman, in April 2008 while at Ventosa Kennels in Scotland Neck, N.C.

In July 2008, Rex and Lehman began working together in Columbus. The K-9 is credited with making nearly 250 apprehensions before retiring from the force in February 2016. He lived with Lehman and his family until his death.

“Rex always enjoyed work and would get excited whenever we would drive past other black and white police cars,” Lehman said of his partner. “He was known as the dog who tried to open car doors due to his being an aggressive alert dog. Rex would bite the door handle when he detected illegal narcotic odors. Rex’s favorite task was tracking and would always get excited whenever deployed for a track.”

The department released a statement about Rex’s passing:

Rex touched many lives during his time here not only in Columbus, but also surrounding communities and will be deeply missed. A special thank you goes to the staff at the Hope Veterinary Clinic for taking care of Rex during his time with the Columbus Police Department. Run freely in the fields of heaven chasing tennis balls and rest easy, Rex.

End of Watch: January 2006 – December 2016

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