Secret Service dog dies in line of duty

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"Robby," a Belgian Malinois
This is Robby, a Belgian Malinois, the same breed as the Secret Service dog in the story.

It’s always so sad hearing stories about police dogs killed in the line of duty. And they and their police family deserve our heartfelt condolences.

CNN reported Sunday on the sad story of a Secret Service Belgian Malinois falling to its death from a six-story parking garage during a security sweep in advance of a visit from Vice President Joe Biden.

The parking deck was “adjacent to The Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans where Biden was speaking at a fundraiser for U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu,” according to the report.

A Secret Service official called the dog’s death a “tragic accident.”

According to the Secret Service’s website, its mission is twofold:

“The mission of the United States Secret Service is to safeguard the nation’s financial infrastructure and payment systems to preserve the integrity of the economy, and to protect national leaders, visiting heads of state and government, designated sites and National Special Security Events [emphasis added].”

CNN explained the use of the Secret Service’s canine program, saying:

The agency began its canine program in 1975 to detect explosives. It uses Belgian Malinois because they are small and have short hair — making it easy for them to work in the heat. They are also very sociable.

Each dog and its handler has to complete 20 weeks of training before beginning work, the agency said.

When it’s time for a dog to retire — usually after about 10 years — it is retired to its handler.

R.I.P., little Malinois, and know your country salutes your service. Our condolences go out to the dog’s handler and family as well.

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