VINEYARD — A Utah County Sheriff’s Office K-9 died Tuesday after he was hit by a car on Vineyard Road near Utah Lake.
Havoc, the 7-year-old Belgian Malinois, had been with the sheriff’s office since July of 2013 and had assisted the force in hundreds of finds, including one where he found more than 10 pounds of heroin, according to a news release from the office.
The dog’s handler was on duty when he pulled into a parking lot about 9:15 a.m. — more than 200 feet away from the road — and let Havoc out for a bathroom break.
Once Havoc had finished, he inspected his surrounding area, as dogs normally do, and then unexpectedly ran toward the road and shore of Utah Lake and Vineyard Beach, the release stated.
Havoc’s handler called out to him but he didn’t respond. One driver avoided the dog but another wasn’t able to — the car hit Havoc, and then the dog ran back to his handler.
Havoc was injured but still responsive, and the handler took the injured dog to a veterinarian who examined the dog and found no broken bones and started an IV. About 10:30 a.m., while sitting in the veterinarian’s office, the handler recalled Havoc looked up at him then laid his head on his lap and died.
Havoc had been with his current handler since July of 2017, and when off-duty enjoyed playing with his handler’s family, chasing a ball and being active. However, the determined dog never wanted to stop working, according to his handler.
Havoc assisted in several criminal apprehensions and won awards from different K-9 trials, the release stated.
In October, the award-winning dog took third place in vehicle narcotics search at the Las Vegas Metro Police K-9 Trials, according to the news release. He also happened to be the only dual-purpose dog to place at the event, meaning he was trained in both narcotics detection and patrol.
“Whatever Havoc did, he was all heart,” the news release stated. “And he will be missed.”