We are deeply saddened to announce that Pierce County Sheriff’s K9 Diego was medically retired this month. Diego was diagnosed with terminal and untreatable cancer inside of his heart in mid-July, but stayed on the job until Sept. 9 when he was officially retired by the department and his replacement, K9 Dos, was present for duty.
Diego, a 9-year-old black Labrador, began his career with the department on April 9, 2009 after graduating from the Auburn University Canine Detection and Training Center. Diego was born into a bomb dog program and, from birth, his training was focused on transforming him into an Explosive Detection K9.
Diego and his handler, Deputy Bill Hultman, were the first civilian law enforcement team to complete the Boeing K9 Unit’s 400-hour training program. They also have a certification from the Criminal Justice Training Center.
During Diego’s career, he conducted the following:
– 381 Calls for service. He has responded to nearly every jurisdiction in Pierce County, as well as calls in King County and Mt. Rainer National Park
– 6,018 Routine facility checks for Pierce Transit, to include Sound Transit facilities in Pierce County
– 2,544 Routine bus checks for Pierce Transit
– 1 Presidential visit
– 3 Vice Presidential visits
– 1 Israeli Cabinet Minister visit
– 1 President of China visit
– 1 National meeting of federal judges in Lakewood
– 1 Special Homeland Security detail in Tacoma
– 1 US Open golf tournament
– 4 seasons with the Seahawks and Sounders at Century Link Field
– 3 seasons with UW Huskies Football at Husky Stadium
Diego was also a favorite with children. He performed many K9 demonstrations at the Puyallup Fair, various schools, and JBLM, where every year he was requested to attend their annual pet shows.
Citizens who would like to support Diego and our K9 program can donate to our K9 Diego Honorary Fund GoFundMe Campaign.