It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of retired police K9 Chase. K9 Chase passed away Sunday, March 5th, 2017. Chase retired from active duty in January of 2016 after nearly eight years of distinguished and loyal service to the City of Fitchburg and surrounding communities.
Born in Germany on January 16th, 2007, Chase was imported to the United States and trained as a dual-purpose police patrol dog. He was trained to track and apprehend individuals, locate evidence and people, protect his handler and detect the odor of narcotics.
Chase began his career with the Fitchburg Police Department with handler Clint Spade in 2008. In January 2010, Officer Cesar Lopez was partnered with Chase and the duo forged a remarkable bond. Chase served with Officer Lopez until his retirement in 2016 when he became a family pet of Officer Lopez.
The department kept statistics on the amount of drugs K9 Chase has detected, the number of weapons he found and the number of suspects he apprehended, however those numbers are just a beginning as we think about some of the immeasurable impacts K9 Chase had on the community. For every weapon he located, he helped solve crimes and may have prevented future crimes. For every time he was on scene of a major call or traffic stop, his bark may have de-escalated a situation, helping to keep officers and citizens safe. For every dark building he cleared, he kept other officers away from danger. And for every pet he received or every lick given to a child at a community event, he fostered goodwill between the community and the department. We cannot thank Chase enough for his service and devotion to his partner, Officer Lopez, the police department and the community.
The Fitchburg Police Department as well as Officer Lopez would like to recognize and thank the Dane County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit, the City of Madison K9 Unit and the many other K9 units from surrounding agencies for their support over the years and since Chase’s passing. We would also like to recognize and thank the wonderful staff, who became Chase’s extended family, at the Fitchburg Veterinary Clinic and Waggin Tails Doggie Dude Ranch & Pet Lodge, for their care of Chase during his career and in retirement. Officer Lopez would especially like to thank Dr. Olson at the Fitchburg Veterinary Clinic for her care of Chase. Lastly, we would like to recognize the Fitchburg community for their continued support, as well as all of those individuals and businesses who helped raise over $60,000 to bring Chase to the department.
Our thoughts are with Officer Lopez and his family. Chase will never be forgotten.
A memorial service for Chase is planned with further details to be shared later.
For more photographs of K9 Chase and more information on the Fitchburg Police Department K9 Unit: http://www.fitchburgwi.gov/369/K-9-Team