Sidney police bid farewell to K-9 officer
Zeke dies of cancer
By Darrin Michael
The term "valor" is best defined as showing boldness or determination when facing great danger, especially in battle.
With that said, a Sidney K-9 officer who recently passed away showed nothing less during his tenure with the Sidney Police Department.
On Sunday, Zeke, a K-9 officer with the department passed away after a brief battle with cancer. He was 11 years old.
In late August, Zeke was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). His trainer, Lt. Michael Rosengarten, had taken him to Sidney veterinarian Richard N. Flinn for treatment. Unfortunately, nothing other than offering comfort could be done for the dog.
"Dr. Flinn and his staff were very helpful with Zeke's treatment," said Rosengarten. "Unfortunately, we knew that the cancer would continue to progress and would eventually get the best of him in a short period of time."
Rosengarten was Zeke's trainer since the German Shepherd arrived in May of 1999 from Von Der Haus Gill, in Wapakoneta, who had imported him from Germany.
"We trained together for six straight weeks at the kennel prior to receiving certification as a Police K-9 unit in August of '99," Rosengarten said.
And with that, Zeke officially became a member of the department.
His first criminal apprehension was of a subject that fled from a stolen car in the Chestnut Avenue area of Sidney.
One of Zeke's more memorable calls; however, was a robbery at a business in Piqua.
"The assailants had fled on foot from a pizza shop and Piqua Police had set up containment in the area and apprehended one of the assailants prior to our arrival," said Rosengarten.
"Zeke and I arrived and began a track from the last place the other assailant had been seen, several blocks from the pizza place."
Zeke was able to quickly track and find the other subject who had been hiding in some bushes along side of a house. The subject was then taken into custody.
Rosengarten added he and Zeke then went to the Piqua Police Department and found neither subject had any of the stolen property in their possession.
"I suggested we go back to the pizza shop and start a track since the both subjects had discarded the stolen property in their attempt to escape," said Rosengarten.
Zeke was able to track both suspects' path, locate the stolen property and even found the weapon used to commit the robbery. Amazingly, this was after the robbery had occurred a few hours earlier.
Aside from tracking down criminals for the department, Zeke loved to participate in public demonstrations like Safety Town and also enjoyed helping out with the D.A.R.E. tent at the Shelby County Fair each year.
"He was a very social dog and enjoyed meeting anyone who showed an interest in him," said Rosengarten.
Zeke wasn't just a member of the police force, however.
"My wife, Kim, and my two sons, Riley and Rhett, have helped with the care of Zeke over the years, especially during the final two months when he was diagnosed with leukemia," Rosengarten said.
"We have been very blessed to have had him as part of our family and he will be greatly missed."
For the other officers of the Sidney Police Department, loosing one of their own is something which is never easy.
"Zeke was a brother officer," said Sidney Police Chief Steve Wearly. "He will be greatly missed by everyone in the department."
Wearly added the department is currently in the process of putting a memorial plaque together for Zeke.
"It's something we do for all K-9 officers who have served in the department," he said. "And honoring Zeke will be no different."