The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office unveiled a memorial Wednesday morning dedicated to its K9 officers.
The memorial includes a statue of a dog along with a message of their dedication to law enforcement and the community.
There is also a list of the sheriff’s office fallen K9s and the seven currently with the department.
All of the department's K9s and their handlers were introduced to the crowd as they unveiled the memorial.
Sheriff Deryl Loar said they wanted to give people a place to come to reflect and honor their K9 partners.
He says the relationship between a K9 and his handler is something very special.
“They live together, they work together, they are constantly together -- that bond is enormous. We are very proud to honor our past and present K9s,” Loar said.
Sgt. Christian Mathisen is in charge of the K9 unit.
“It would be impossible for me to really convey it to you, being able to go to work everyday with your best friend. It’s something that’s just like indescribable,” said Mathisen.
The idea for a memorial was envisioned about a year ago. The sheriff says it was paid for with about $5,000 in forfeiture funds.
The rest, about $45,000, came from donations and donated work from everyone who put this together.
The memorial is located at the sheriff's office at 4055 41st Ave. in front of the Human Resources Department.
— Stephanie Susskind (@StephanieWPTV) September 19, 2018