FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) — A memorial service was held Friday afternoon for a Franklin County Sheriff’s K-9 killed Monday after being struck by a dump truck.
Udet, a 3-year-old German Shepherd, had been on the force for two years before the accident. She had been training with dog handler Deputy Michael Durbin, and replaced his last dog Pharoah, who was retired. The sergeant in charge of the K-9 unit said Udet made some big felony drug busts.
The memorial service was held near the Jackson Pike jail, where other K-9’s are buried.
Durbin told the crowd at Udet’s memorial that he wrote a letter to his dog. “Udet, I am so sorry I let you down. It is my fault because you were my responsibility and my little girl,” he said.
There was not a dry eye in the hundreds of law enforcement, friends and family at the memorial as Durbin poured his heart out over the death of his partner. Durbin blamed himself, but said their support, letters and stories are helping him heal.
“It has let me smile and envision a future where I have another dog and I keep training dogs,” he said. Durbin is also a certified dog trainer.
His K-9 unit officer Sgt. Aaron Heflin said Udet was the only female K-9 in the unit. “She always had Mike’s back and was always selflessly looking out for him,” Heflin told the crowd.
Durbin said he did not have children and Udet was like his child.
Jerry Azzi has imported 900 dogs from Germany over 31 years in the dog training business. He said he has trained more than 250 police K-9’s as trackers, including Udet. “She was in the top ten percent of dog I have ever trained,” Azzi said.
“She was very good, a very good dog! Mike is a good handler, it was a nice team. They really complimented each other. I feel sorry for him, you lose your partner, you best friend it takes a lot out of you,” Azzi said.
Durbin was just named deputy of the year and he said it was because of his partner Udet. He will receive “Deputy of The Year” award in a December ceremony.