FARMINGTON, Utah — Davis County K9 Officer “Chopper” was memorialized Tuesday after being hit and killed by a vehicle last month.
“He had a zest for life. He loved just to work and to please everybody,” POST K9 Instructor Art Lopez said.
For more than five years, Chopper sniffed out drugs and captured criminals. The deputies he protected honored him in a touching ceremony.
“He loved his handlers, that’s all he wanted to please,” Lopez said. “That dog let the bad guys know who was boss. ‘This is my dad and I’m going to protect him with 100 percent of my heart.’”
The tight K9 brotherhood traveled across the region to pay respects at the Legacy Event Center in Farmington.
“It doesn’t matter what the situation is, I said I’d be there,” Teton County Patrol Deputy Tyson Gunderson said.
Gunderson drove nearly five hours from Idaho with his K9 Max.
“It’s an emotional thing because, you know, in the back of my mind I think, ‘What if it’s my dog? What if it’s my partner?'" he said.
Chopper got out of his handler’s vehicle and ran into traffic where he was hit by an oncoming car. The six-year-old dog died from his injuries.
Trainers said Chopper was the perfect police dog. He was known for his speed, determination, and constant smile.
Chopper was one of three dogs with the department. They plan on getting another dog next year.