COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Richland County Sheriff's Department is mourning the loss of one of their K9 deputies Saturday morning.
In a statement released Saturday morning, Sheriff Leon Lott said K9 deputy Tosca passed away after being taken off of a ventilator at a local veterinarian hospital. Tosca suffered from an illness that has yet to be determined.
Friday night, Tosca's handler, RCSD Deputy Emily Lemmond, found the K9 having what appeared to be a seizure. Lemmond then rushed Tosca to RCSD's vet where life-saving measures were taken. It was determined, however, that Tosca could not be saved.
A necropsy is scheduled to determine the dog's cause of death.
Tosca was a Belgian Malinois and about 2-years-old. The full-service dog had completed extensive trainings in drug detection, area tracking, suspect apprehension, and more.
Sheriff Lott is asking the community to keep Deputy Lemmond, along with the rest of the sheriff's department, in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. He said over the course of training a K-9 Deputy and his or her handler become as one.