Police K-9 Grizzly’s Brief Career in Darien Cut Short by Cancer

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Darien Police announced Tuesday that K-9 Grizzly, who only started with the department recently, has had his career in the department suddenly cut short after a doctor diagnosed his bone cancer.

Grizzly Police Dog Leslie DaSilva 04-18-17

Contributed photo

Grizzly, with Darien Officer Leslie DaSilva

Efforts are being made to get another police dog for Officer Leslie Silva, who just went through months of training with Grizzly.

Here’s the Darien police announcement:

It is with very heavy hearts that the Darien Police Department reports that Darien Police K-9 “Grizzly” has been medically retired from service.

K-9 “Grizzly,” a 3 1/2 year old chocolate lab, was acquired by the Town of Darien in September of 2016 and placed with his handler, Officer Leslie Silva.

He and his handler completed an extensive training program through Superior K9 Services, and subsequently received State and National Certifications in narcotics detection.

Although “Grizzly” had been riding with Officer Silva in her patrol car for several months while the two got acquainted, this new K-9 team officially hit the road in December of 2016.

In addition to working in a patrol function alongside his handler, K-9 “Grizzly” enjoyed visiting local schools, doing public demonstrations and meeting with community members of all ages to educate them about the police department and the K-9 program.

In his off duty time, K-9 “Grizzly” enjoyed spending time at home with his handler and his family and he loved going for long walks.

In February of 2017, K-9 “Grizzly” began limping and experiencing regular pain in one of his hind legs. After visiting a local vet and running numerous tests, he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer called Chondrosarcoma.

The vet discovered a cancerous tumor which was located in an inoperable area in his hip joint and the tumor rapidly progressed.

After much consultation with the veterinarian, an oncology specialist and several K9 professionals, it was determined that the best course of action would be to retire K-9 “Grizzly” from service and return him to the care of Frank Reda of Superior K9 Services in an effort to make him as comfortable as possible.

This has been a very difficult situation for everyone involved.

K-9 “Grizzly” and Officer Silva rode their last tour of duty together on April 11, 2017.

K-9 “Grizzly” was a valuable asset to the Darien Police Department, and he served the community well in the short time he was in service here in Darien. He will be sorely missed.

Superior K9 Services is currently making efforts to locate a new K-9 partner for Officer Silva.