The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office this morning announced the death of K-9 Keanu, a few weeks shy of his fourth birthday and a little over two years into his service with the Sheriff’s Office.
A sheriff’s release states that Keanu, a Belgian Malinois born in Hungary, recently began experiencing health complications. His condition declined rapidly and on February 14, 2023, K-9 Keanu succumbed to his illness.
His human partner was Deputy Robin Towns. Keanu and Towns completed their K-9 Team training in February of 2021. That included a 480-hour Florida Department of Law Enforcement K-9 Team training course and a 200-hour narcotics detection course.
During Keanu’s service, he contributed to the detection and recovery of large sums of narcotics as well as the apprehension of multiple criminal suspects.
The release did not detail the health condition that led to Keanu’s death, but a sheriff’s spokesperson explained: “During a check up in November of 2022 a mild change in his kidney function was noticed. Tests were done to see if this change was caused by a tick borne or infectious disease. All tests came back negative and he was therefore referred to a specialist. The specialist noticed a change in Keanu’s glomerulopathy and he began receiving treatment for chronic kidney disease which later developed into acute renal failure.”
Keanu was born on March 9, 2019 and joined the Sheriff’s Office in September 2020. The dog was donated by Caesar DePaço’s Foundation. (DePaço is a former consul of the government of Portugal in Palm Coast. He had before and since been heavily engaged in donating police dogs to law enforcement agencies around the country.)
Last October, the Sheriff’s Office dressed up all its K-9s for Halloween. Keanu was dressed in a sailor’s uniform.
The sheriff’s release states: “We are saddened by Keanu’s passing as he was not only a K-9 partner to Deputy Towns but part of FCSO’s family. Rest in peace Keanu. Thank you for your service. You will be missed but never forgotten.”
The K-9 is expected to be replaced, after a new candidate makes it through the required training. When at full force, the sheriff’s K-9 unit is comprised of six teams: Four patrol teams with dual purpose canines, one explosive detection K-9 team, and one search and rescue bloodhound team. The unit’s remaining K-9s in service are Odin, Axle, Baro, Holmes and–after Jax’s recent retirement–Nitro.
Keep Flagler Beautiful says
So sorry to learn of this beautiful dog’s premature passing. I hope a necropsy will be performed. That’s a very young age for a shepherd to die. Obviously something was wrong internally, or maybe it was something congenital. I just hope it wasn’t something related to work he did in the line of duty. RIP, dear Keanu.
denise calderwood says
So sorry for your loss. He was a proud member may be rest in peace…
May Keanu RIP at Rainbow Bridge. Condolences to Keanu’s partner, Deputy Robin Downs and to the FCSO Dept.
Keanu RIP, Deputy so sorry for your loss.
Donna Francis says
What a beautiful K-9. How sad at such a young age. I am so sorry for his handler – I know the bond is strong and it is often as painful as losing a human family member or friend. I still mourn the golden retriever that was my sanity during my husband’s military deployments, and he’s been gone nearly 20 years. RIP Keanu.
RIP – Such a shame – such sadness… Beautiful Baby
Oh, so sorry to hear that! My condolences.
When I was living in Boca, I knew of a K9 officer there; a really nice, young man. While at a scene, he left the dog in the patrol vehicle with the motor running and the a/c on. The a/c failed, and the poor dog died. The officer was devastated! They were a devoted team.
In honor of Keanu, please leave your dog at home if you plan to leave him/her in your car, truck or SUV when you leave your vehicle. Do not chance it.
Robert Joseph Fortier says
So sorry to hear of Keanu’s passing. Had German Shepherds all my life, I have two now which are part of our family.
We all know that they do not live long, compared to humans, but it is always painful when one of them passes.
I will overdose my two with treats today…in honor of Keanu. They aren’t called “mans best friend” for nothing.
Sorry brother for you loss.