CARTHAGE, Missouri- The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office announced they lost a member of their K9 family.

K9 Tundra, has succumbed to a large tumor that attacked her stomach and esophagus. The tumor was discovered during a regular medical exam at the K9 Unit’s veterinarian after Tundra experienced significant weight loss over the past few weeks. The tumor had grown too large to give K9 Tundra the quality of life she deserved, the agency said.

K9 Tundra, “a fiesty 5 year old Weimaraner,” was partnered with Cpl. Matt Smith for the past 3 years. Cpl. Smith deployed Tundra and K9 Lisa at the same time over the years while Tundra was being trained to take K9 Lisa’s place on retirement. K9 Tundra had opportunities to train with some of the best dog trainers over the years to include special operations trainers from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshals, the ATF, as well as several state and local law enforcement agencies, they explained. 

Cpl. Matt Smith and Tundra

Tundra was trained for detecting explosives, trailing people, locating items of evidentiary value, and was an overly protective partner. Tundra’s breed was a new dog breed for working dogs not seen very often in police and military K9 programs. “Tundra would turn heads when she jumped out of a patrol car, because people were not quite sure what to think of this green/golden eyed, gray/tan pooch who was not your typical police dog. K9 Tundra received her basic K9 training at Lackland AFB, Texas and was donated to the Sheriff’s Office by the Transit Security Authority (TSA) when Smith’s previous K9 came up for retirement for service. Once K9 Tundra began to work here at home, the team was trained locally by Sgt. Tom Crossley, Jasper County Sheriff’s Office and Travis Walthall, Master Trainer under the National Police Working Dog Association.”

“In the early beginnings after Tundra became comfortable with Cpl. Smith, she pressed the boundaries of their working relationship by biting him across his forearm. After that incident, K9 Tundra had a firm grasp of who on the team was in charge and who wore the dog collar. Once their relationship was set, Tundra worked hard to please Smith and enjoyed their time together playing fetch or just sitting at his feet watching him soaking up all the attention she could get from Cpl. Smith.”

“K9 handlers live through the worst experience of their careers, when they lose their canine partners. When a handler’s day comes to say goodbye, it’s not just saying goodbye to a dog, but to their friend and partner; the K9 who listens intently to their every sound and watches over their handler with respect and loyalty,” the agency said.

Please keep K9 Tundra’s family in your thoughts, they ask.