Dickinson PD mourns loss of K-9 Niko
The Dickinson Police Department is mourning the loss of K-9 officer Niko, a narcotics dog who passed away suddenly over the weekend. "It is with great sorrow that we announce the untimely passing of one of our partners and friends. K-9 Niko passe...
The Dickinson Police Department is mourning the loss of K-9 officer Niko, a narcotics dog who passed away suddenly over the weekend.
"It is with great sorrow that we announce the untimely passing of one of our partners and friends. K-9 Niko passed away (Sunday) at 12:50 p.m. after battling a bout of torsion that had occurred Friday night," the department said in a post on Facebook.
Torsion, also known as stomach flip or bloat, occurred at Niko's home Friday evening. Her handler, Officer Jayden Peters, found Niko to be in distress and immediately rushed her to the West Dakota Veterinary Clinic, where she underwent emergency surgery.
While the surgery was a success, the vet staff indicated the dog's internal organs were very stressed due to the bloat, which caused concern about blood clots and stress during the next 48 hours. The department said Saturday afternoon Niko appeared to be feeling better and her spirits were up, giving Peters and his family a chance to spend quality time visiting her and being by her side. On Sunday morning, Peters received a call that Niko had taken a turn for the worse and he needed to respond immediately.
Peters and DPD Sgt. Corey Lee were with Niko as she took her final breaths and then peacefully slipped away.
"It's been a rough couple of days for my family and I," Peters commented on the post. "It's not going to be easy going back to work and not having Niko in the squad car with me. I'm gonna miss her jumping up when we drive past the schools and she hears the kids out for recess or barking at every bike, motorcycle and diesel truck that drives past."
Peters thanked the vets at West Dakota for their help and said "you were able to give my wife, daughter and I one more day with Niko and I can't thank you enough.
"A person doesn't realize how much you can love an animal until you go through this," Peters continued. "She was obviously more than just a dog to me, she was family. But life will go on. Niko I will miss you more than you will ever know."
Niko, a Belgian Malinois, has been with the DPD since 2013 and has been with Peters since early 2014. The duo often competed at various K-9 competitions throughout the state and the region. To date, they are the only three-time champions of the North Dakota Peace Officers K-9 Challenge, which is held each year in different locations around the state. They recorded a multitude of drug arrests over the years and were highly proactive in the community, raising awareness for the public during demonstrations and public relations events.
"She was a really good drug dog," DPD Capt. David Wilkie said. "She was a sweetheart. Just a really nice and had a great temperament. She was a really good ambassador for the dog program because she was just so nice."
Wilkie said a lot of people can be afraid of the drug dogs because of their size and belief that they are mean, however Niko was quite the opposite, Wilkie said.
"She had a big smile and she was just a goofball," he said. "She was just a really nice dog."