A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer with the hat and dog of K-9 officer David Ross, who was killed last week along with two other RCMP officers, pauses in front of his casket during the regimental funeral. Mark Blinch/Reuters
The police service dog of slain Moncton RCMP Const. Dave Ross will be partnered with another officer, say the RCMP.
Ross was one of three Mounties shot and killed in the line of duty in the New Brunswick city last week.
His German shepherd, Danny, touched hearts across the nation during the regimental funeral on Tuesday as he whimpered throughout the service.
"Anytime Danny barked at home, it would be to get Dave to open the truck door so they could go to work," Ross's widow, Rachael Ross, said in a statement on Wednesday.
"It wouldn't be fair to Danny to retire him, as he loved his work as much as Dave did," she said.
The process of returning Danny to work will begin when a handler in need of a police service dog is identified, said RCMP spokeswoman Const. Jullie Rogers-Marsh.
The RCMP have received "a high number of requests" from the media and the public about Danny's future, said Rogers-Marsh.
Police service dogs rarely change handlers, but it has happened a few times when a handler left the program or retired, she said.
"While Danny too is grieving for his handler, he will have the opportunity to continue on to a rewarding career."
The RCMP released a short YouTube video of Danny happily playing in a brook on Wednesday.
A comment by Nancy Anne Johnson read: "What a beautiful dog and wish him only the best as he begins his healing process as he continues to work with the RCMP family."
Another comment by Windsong14 read: "What a handsome boy, sad for the loss of his handler but I hope and pray that Danny will go on as a mighty and strong warrior for the RCMP and that his new handler will love him as much as Dave did."
Ross and Danny began working together on Dec. 4, 2012, and started formal training on April 22, 2013.
They graduated from the Police Dog Service Training Centre on Aug. 30, 2013 — less than a year before Ross was killed.