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Davis County Sheriff’s K-9 Rony, 'America's Top Dog' competitor, dies

By Felicia Martinez, KSL TV | Posted - Jul. 7, 2020 at 6:12 p.m.


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FRUIT HEIGHTS — The Davis County Sheriff’s office lost one of its outstanding K-9 officers, Rony, who died unexpectedly on July 4.

Rony and his handler, Deputy Brad Larsen, recently competed in “America’s Top Dog” on A&E.

“We can joke that that’s one of his best attributes is he made me look like a better cop than I am,” Larsen said.

He hand-picked Rony when he the dog just over a year old. The two spent the last five years as partners, but they were so much more.

“He is more than just a dog,” Larsen said. “He’s family.”

Rony took first place in his episode of “America’s Top Dog,” and he went on to compete in the finals, taking third overall. Since the show, though, he sustained an injury and his health declined.

“We met back in March where you were able to meet him play with him,” Larsen said to KSL TV’s Felicia Martinez. “He was injured at the beginning of April. He sustained a spinal cord injury he was healing from, and then this happened unexpectedly.”

Rony would have celebrated his sixth birthday next week.

“The things I’ll miss the most, and I think a lot of people will miss, is his constant companionship,” said Larsen.

Whether traveling, working, hiking or taking trips to southern Utah, they were always together and when it mattered most. Rony was there to serve and protect.

“Three years from the day he died we were on a critical incident where the benefit of having a police K-9 there, and him doing his job, allowed not only me but multiple other officers to stay safe,” said Larsen.

He said he will cherish his and Rony’s bond forever.

“What it comes down to is he lived his life to the fullest,” Larsen said. “We worked hard, we played hard, and I know I was able to give him a life he deserved.”

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Felicia Martinez

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