LETTER: Longtime Normandy Park Police K-9 ‘Skyler’ Put To Sleep

On September 9, 2011 the Normandy Park Police Department had to say goodbye to a longtime member. Skyler, our 15-year old Australian Shepherd Narcotics K-9 had to be put to sleep. Skyler had suffered from Arthritis for many years and his health had seriously deteriorated over the last six months. He had seizures earlier this year and never fully recovered.

Skyler retired from police work in December of 2007 as the better half of a Master Narcotics K9 team, and spent the remainder of his life with Assistant Chief Gaddis and his family. Skyler was a true partner in every sense of the word and even better in most cases. Skyler never complained, never backed down and was always there when he was needed. This is true if you are speaking of his work as a police officer or that of a friend.

In 1999, Skyler joined the police department as their very first K-9. Skyler was a rescue dog from STAR (South Texas Australian Rescue). He was saved by this group just hours from being put down, and was sent to the Washington State Department of Corrections K9 training facility on McNeil Island. Even though he was very young at the time, he showed promise in the field of narcotics work and was given the opportunity to complete the course.

Skyler and then Officer Gaddis completed the six week training class with the highest percentage of “finds” and their impact on the community was immediate. The second week out of class Skyler located over one million dollars worth of narcotics while working with the Federal Way Police Department. Skyler’s reputation continued to grow and he was frequently relied upon by outside agencies to assist them in narcotics investigations.

Assistant Chief Gaddis would like to thank the 1998-1999 Normandy Park City Council members and all those that have followed, for allowing the program to continue.

The Normandy Park Police Department would like to thank the VCA Five Corner’s Animal Hospital for their outstanding service over the years and their incredible compassion when it was Skyler’s time to depart this world.

“As his handler for almost 10 years and his friend almost 13, I would like to thank Skyler for being with me through the good times and the bad. I never remember a time that he wasn’t ready and willing to do whatever I asked of him (as long as it wasn’t to behave). I will miss the time that we spent together at work and the times he spent with me and my growing family. I can still picture him lying in my office on one of our night shifts, chasing rabbits in his sleep while I tried to get paperwork done.”

– Chris L. Gaddis #150
Assistant Chief of Police

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3 Responses to “LETTER: Longtime Normandy Park Police K-9 ‘Skyler’ Put To Sleep”
  1. Dean Fuller says:

    At this point in my life, putting dogs down is the worst thing I’ve ever had to do.. Truly sad. Skyler was a good dog . . .

  2. Glenda Berg says:

    Thank you Ass’t Chief Gaddis for this lovely eulogy of your fine friend and partner. I never met Skyler, but you have captured his heart for all of us to celebrate, as well as to grieve with you that he had to leave and cross that rainbow bridge in Heaven (where we know, of course, ALL dogs go!) We also appreciate your foresight in helping to start the K-9 unit with Skyler, and wish it continued success. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Tamara says:

    So sorry for your loss. To lose a pet is to lose a family member, a friend.

    Wishing you grace as you move forward without your buddy, and peace knowing he’s watching over you.

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