The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office lost a furry member of the force earlier this month and plans to honor his memory on Sunday.
On Nov. 4, Sheriff Charles Black Jr. received a call from Sgt. Brandon Peska. The sergeant informed Black that his K-9 partner, Nemo, had fallen ill.
Nemo, 7, was rushed to a 24-hour emergency veterinarian service in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and then taken to his regular vet at Key Animal Hospital. Early the next day, the department members learned that Nemo had died from what the vet believed to be a rare disorder that causes bleeding and dehydration.
“I have lost my K-9 partner during my career,” Black recalled. “It is like losing a family member.”
A memorial service for Nemo will be held at Sunday at the Woodsfield Church of Christ, located at 860 Lewisfield Road in Woodsfield. Visitation will be held from 1-4 p.m., when the service will begin. The memorial is open to anyone who would like to pay their last respects and say goodbye to Nemo. Services will be provided by Watters Funeral Home.
Many people in Monroe County have extended condolences to Peska, including various social media posts from residents as well as from the Monroe County EMS.
Nemo was a black sable shepherd who was purchased from Azzi International. Nemo served a dual purpose as a dog certified in narcotics, apprehension, tracking and social exposure. The county’s K-9 teams are also trained in human tracking and handler protection. Nemo had worked alongside dogs Ax and Eric, who also are members of the K-9 unit.
County residents and officials have shown support for the K-9 unit over the years, and many have gotten to meet Nemo. These include children from Woodsfield Elementary and River High schools, who donated a combined $433.25 to the department in the spring. The staff at Modern Home and Hardware also got to meet him when the store held a gun raffle to benefit the K-9 unit with a total of $1,095 raised in less than a week.
The Daisy Girl Scouts from Troop 31410 have also been supportive, having donated $200 to the K-9 fund. Audie’s Angels and Cross Paws participated in a Stuff the Cruiser fundraiser in which Woodsfield True Value donated $500 and residents of the community donated $320.
A bake sale has been held at Citizens National Bank in Woodsfield for three consecutive years. That effort has raised $4,879 for the K-9 unit.