Thursday January 11th, was a very sad day for TPD’s K-9 Program. Regretfully, after four years of faithful service to the community and the Tustin Police Department, 7-year-old police service dog Riggs was put down that afternoon to save him the suffering from the ravages of a terminal illness. In early January a lump was detected on his neck by his handler, Officer Eric Kent. A biopsy was performed and the results came back a week later as bone cancer which is essentially a terminal illness in dogs that can be treated, but one where the results are merely the prolonging of the animal’s pain and suffering. As you can understand, upon hearing the news, Eric, his family and the members of the TPD’s K9 program were devastated. Riggs’ condition was rapidly deteriorating and although he had a very high tolerance for pain and possessed a true warrior spirit, it was clear he was suffering. Our City veterinarian diagnosed him with two weeks to live. Riggs came to us from The Netherlands by way of Adlerhorst International in Riverside four years ago when Eric selected him from numerous other dogs during a “show day”. Eric and Riggs formed an almost instant bond with Eric being an experienced handler and Riggs being a big 3 ½ year old Dutch Shepherd with an equally big attitude. They lived together, trained together and fought together and through it all, developed a bond that only they could understand. Over that time, they took guns off the street, dope away from drug dealers, frightened some of the most hardened criminals into surrendering at the mere sight of them, handled hundreds of alarm calls to keep other officers free to handle higher priority calls and proactivity and performed dozens of PR events. Riggs will be sorely missed but never forgotten. He passed away in the comfort of his own home, the Kent residence, under the supervision of the City veterinarian the afternoon of the 11th. Riggs’ remains will be cremated and retained by Eric and his family.