'Friend of everybody' Police dog retires after 2 years on job

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Seymour Police Officer Adam Surface will miss his canine partner Niko, but there are greener pastures awaiting the dog. Greener pastures that include some curious cows.

After serving the city for just more than two years, Niko, pronounced “Neeko,” a Belgian Malinois/German shepherd mix, has been retired because of health issues and now has a new home.

Seymour Board of Public Works and Safety approved a request from Chief Bill Abbott on Thursday to transfer ownership of Niko from the department to a relative of a current police officer.

“He has developed hip issues, similar to arthritis, and after riding around in the police car all day, it’s difficult for him to move around,” Abbott said.

A veterinarian in Louisville, Ky., recommended retirement, Abbott said.

Although it hasn’t developed into full hip dysplasia yet, Surface said the condition greatly affected Niko’s ability to work.

“It was setting him back and had slowed him down,” Surface said. “When it comes to getting in and out of vehicles and his ongoing training, it just became too much for him. It’s very unfortunate because he’s a great police dog.”

Seymour Police began its K9 unit in 2004 and now has just one police dog, Redge, on active duty, and two others, Jake and Koa, that are retired.

“We use them a lot,” Surface said of the dogs. “They have done some really good things.”

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