Vernon Police Department mourning the loss of Officer K-9 Thor

Animals and Wildlife

VERNON, Conn. (WTNH) – The Vernon Police Department is mourning the passing of a K-9 who served with the police department for seven years.

Eight-year-old K-9 Thor, who is a Belgian Malinois/German Shepherd mix, served with Officer Bryan Semberksy. Thor died from an autoimmune disorder and pneumonia on Saturday, Oct. 16.

On Monday, Oct. 25, the department held a private ceremony at Vernon Police Headquarters attended by officers, police department staff, town leaders, and K-9 handlers from other departments.

The police department said Thor was a valuable member of the department and has multiple successes in tracking suspects and finding drugs. Thor also went into a building and found a burglary suspect hiding in a crawl space.

More recently, Police Chief John Kelley said Thor played a key role in finding a firearm that was used in a homicide. The gun had been thrown into the Hockanum River.

Police Chief Kelley, himself a former K-9 handler, said police officers and police dogs build an extremely
close bond.

“When you’re with a K-9 partner you’re with that dog 24/7, you’re with that dog more than your spouse, your partner,” Kelley said. “And the loss is extremely painful.”

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