MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A memorial service was held Tuesday for an Alabama Department of Corrections K-9 named Jake.
The department of corrections says Jake became ill after detecting a narcotic during a contraband search two weeks ago and died two days later on July 20.
His handler, Sgt. Quinton Jones, says he had a special connection with his partner, like Batman and Robin he called it.
“People say, ‘how deep is the partnership?’ Well the partnership is very deep. I want to compare it to me and my wife. My wife’s at home with me, so is Jake at, but when I would leave for work and leave her, Jake would get in the truck with me, so that bond was very special,” said Jones.
“They live, eat, sleep, work together. Hours and hours on end and the relationship — that bond that’s built between K-9 handler and the dog is incredible," said ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn. "We think about the bonds we have with our own pets, well multiply that exponentially and that’s what you get between a K-9 handler and a dog. They’re not just owner and dog they’re true partners.”
Jones said he spent more time talking to Jake about his problems than he did his wife, and said he learned about as much from his K-9 partner as his K-9 partner learned from him. Jones was still learning from Jake, even at Tuesday’s service.
“I think today Jake taught me a great lesson of courage, fear,” said Jones.
Dunn said the K-9 was instrumental in their prison sweeps.
“Jake was key to our efforts within the department to reduce, and ultimately get rid of, any forms of contraband, especially drugs," said Dunn. “He was known for being very aggressive and exceptional at the work that he did, but then he had a little bit of a softer side. Unlike a lot of K-9 dogs he had a very playful side to him and we all enjoyed that but as it was said, when he meant business he meant business.”
Jake had been on duty for a little over four years and was a certified officer in the department of corrections.