Recently retired Darien Police K-9 Grizzly loses battle with bone cancer

Recently retired Darien Police K-9 Grizzly, a three and a half year old chocolate Lab, died on Monday, after his bone cancer took an aggressive turn, according to Superior K-9 Services, who had taken him back in after retirement.

According to a post on Facebook yesterday by Frank Reda of Superior K-9,  the cancer had deteriorated Grizzly's pelvis so quickly he was unable to stand or function.

"As I sat with him outside waiting to be called for me to carry him in, my family and I sat there comforting him but by the look in his eyes it sure felt like he was trying to comfort us. A truly special dog that was a blast to be hang with. Thank you for your service K9 Grizzly and thanks for just being you," he wrote.

The Darien Police Department reported that Darien Police K-9 “Grizzly” was medically retired from service in April.

K-9 Grizzly was acquired by the Town of Darien in September of 2016 and placed with his handler, Officer Leslie Silva. He and his handler completed an extensive training program through Superior K9 Services, and subsequently received State and National Certifications in narcotics detection. Although Grizzly had been riding with Officer Silva in her patrol car for several months while the two got acquainted, this new K-9 team officially hit the road in December of 2016.  In addition to working in a patrol function alongside his handler, Grizzly enjoyed visiting local schools, doing public demonstrations and meeting with community members of all ages to educate them about the police department and the K-9 program.  In his off duty time, Grizzly enjoyed spending time at home with his handler and his family and he loved going for long walks.

Silva sent The Darien Times a link to Grizzly's Instagram account for all to look back on his journey at the Darien Police Department.

In February of 2017,Grizzly began limping and experiencing regular pain in one of his hind legs. After visiting a local vet and running numerous tests, he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer called chondrosarcoma. The vet discovered a cancerous tumor which was located in an inoperable area in his hip joint and the tumor rapidly progressed.

After much consultation with the veterinarian, an oncology specialist and several K9 professionals, it was determined that the best course of action would be to retire Grizzly from service and return him to the care of Frank Reda of Superior K9 Services in an effort to make him as comfortable as possible.

This has been a very difficult situation for everyone involved, according to the Darien Police.

Grizzly and Officer Silva rode their last tour of duty together on April 11.

"It was an absolute pleasure getting to work with and train K9 Grizzly. he will be sorely missed," Silva told The Darien Times.

"Grizzly was a valuable asset to the Darien Police Department, and he served the community well in the short time he was in service here in Darien," Darien Police said in a press release at the time of his retirement.