FLINT TWP. — Come and say goodbye to Gunner, the police dog, at the next township board meeting on August 20.
On Monday, the township board approved a resolution for retirement and bill of sale transferring ownership for Gunner to retire into the care of his handler and partner Officer Neal Donovan. The township attorney reviewed and approved the documents to free the township from any future liability.
Sadly, Gunner has arthritis in his shoulders and hips and is getting too old to perform his duties, said Chief Kevin Salter, who requested the retirement sale for the German Shepherd who was imported from Holland. Gunner, now ten years old, joined the department in May 2011 as a spry 27-month old youth fresh out of training at the Oakland Police Academy in Auburn Hills.
Among his many accomplishments as a canine officer was his role in a drug search at Bishop International Airport. Gunner was asked to assist with a suspicious package and was instrumental in recovering a suitcase containing $75,000 relating to a drug deal, Later that day, the dog helped locate 86 pounds of marijuana that came in a different shipment.
Gunner was the fourth dog to serve the department in drugs and tracking work since it began operating a canine program in 1999.
Gunner’s retirement will be effective on August 1 but Officer Donovan plans to bring him to the next township board meeting for his official farewell.
His successor, Canine Officer Jax, joined he department in May 2017. With his handler, Officer Barry Wascher, Jax, now three years old, made his public debut at the annual National Night Out event in August. He is also a German Shepherd and was bred and raised in the Czech Republic.