Tuesday morning around 9:15, a Utah County Sheriff’s Office deputy and K9 handler was working in Vineyard with his canine partner Havoc when Havoc ran into the road, was hit by a car and later died.
Havoc was a rare “dual purpose” dog, as he was certified in both narcotics detection and patrol, according to a press release.
The deputy had parked in a dirt parking lot along Vineyard Road, which runs along the short of Utah Lake near Vineyard Beach, to let Havoc take a break, according to the press release. The deputy parked more than 200 feet away from the road and let Havoc out to relieve himself.
After relieving himself, Havoc began to explore the area. The press release clarifies when K9 handlers give their dogs a break, they typically do so in a somewhat isolated area away from the public, as was the case here.
Once Havoc finished his “inspection” of the area, he unexpectedly ran west toward Vineyard road, not responding to his handler’s calls to return. Havoc ran into the road, where one motorist swerved to avoid him, but a second car was unable to move out of the way in time.
According to the press release, Havoc was able to run back to his handler after being hit by the car. The handler saw Havoc was injured but responsive and took him to a veterinarian’s office.
The veterinarian found no broken bones after examining Havoc and started an IV. About 10:30 a.m., while still sitting in the veterinarian’s office, the handler said Havoc looked at him, laid his head in the handler’s lap and died.
Havoc was a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois who began his career with the sheriff’s office in 2013. His current handler worked with him since July 2017.
Havoc received many awards at various K9 trials, most recently winning 3rd place in Vehicle Narcotics search at the Las Vegas Metro Police K9 Trials in Las Vegas in October of last year.
Havoc made hundreds of “finds” involving narcotics, the press release states, finding 10 pounds of heroin in one search and more than 10 pounds of methamphetamine in another. Havoc was also involved in the apprehension of numerous criminals.
Havoc’s handler said Havoc “showed determination and never wanted to stop working,” but off the job, Havoc loved to be active by chasing a ball, chewing a toy or playing with his handler’s family.
“Whatever Havoc did, he was all heart,” the press release reads. “And he will be missed.”