By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6
BARTLESVILLE, OKLAHOMA -- A Bartlesville Police dog, which the department believes was poisoned, was honored Tuesday afternoon.
The tribute was held at the police department's headquarters on Hensley Boulevard.
Cooper, a 3-year-old German Shepherd, worked as a drug and tracking dog.
"It's a way the police department acknowledges the fact that these drug dogs are more than just canine. They are a part of us. Cooper was a fantastic drug dog," said Tom Holland, Bartlesville Police Chief.
A small and somber crowd met at the Bartlesville Police Department to remember Cooper. Cooper worked with Officer Troy Newall as a drug and tracking dog for two years.
"It meant the world to me. I needed the closure," said Bartlesville Police Officer Troy Newell.
Cooper had to be euthanized after his kidneys failed. It was later discovered that he had ingested anti-freeze. Police say Cooper was targeted and the poisoning was intentional.
"We are hoping someone will come forward with this senseless act of killing this marvelous dog. He meant so much to us. He was also important to the citizens of Bartlesville and Washington County because he was good at what he did," said Holland.
Officers said as a puppy, Cooper went to Sedan, Kansas and captured a criminal who was supposedly armed at the time and did it in a record time of 20 minutes.
Officer Newall was presented with an American flag in honor of his fallen partner.
"All the support from my family, friends, fellow law enforcement agencies, community, surrounding community it's been overwhelming. That's how I'm getting through," said Newell. "I'm still pretty emotional. It's hard riding around in an empty car."
The flag was flown at half staff in Cooper's memory. A small monument for Cooper's ashes will be placed below the flag, next to another monument for slain officers.
A reward is offered for information leading to an arrest in Cooper's poisoning. Tips in the poisoning case can be called in to the Bartlesville Crime Stoppers at 918-336-CLUE.
The Bartlesville Police Department is still searching for Cooper's replacement.