Columbia County Sheriff’s Office announces passing of K9 Kira

HUDSON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett announced with great sadness Monday the passing of K9 Kira who served county residents and visitors alike before retiring.

The Sheriff’s Office said during the early morning on October 5, Kira had passed away from natural causes at her home with her loved ones.

K9 Kira was a female German shepherd from East Slovakia who was reportedly acquired through a grant from the NYS Department of Homeland Security in 2010. Kira specialized in explosives detection, patrol, and tracking since joining the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy Travis Van Alstyne was Kira’s handler and partner. During their time together the two reportedly tracked many missing and wanted persons, performed several explosive sweeps and helped all kinds of other agencies across New York State as well as Massachusetts.

Kira is said to have loved taking part in community events and demonstrations throughout the county, and is said to have had a unique knack to her personality that let her educate the public on what K9’s do for police agencies.

The Sheriff’s Office said Kira eventually retired to stay home with Deputy Van Alstyne and his family enjoying a relaxed life of nature walks and pickup truck rides.

“Losing a member of our department is a tragic event. This is no different if it is a police dog. Kira served with distinction. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Deputy Van Alstyne and his family,” stated Sheriff Bartlett.

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