A Brunswick County, NC Sheriff’s Office K9 dog died from an accidental overdose while in the line of duty. K9 Deputy Jared Zeller and K9 Viper were searching for a large amount of cocaine on Saturday, 7/16/2011, when the incident occurred
Dep. Zeller and K9 Viper were searching a 100 acre corn field for drugs with a sheriff’s office narcotics enforcement unit when K9 Viper located approximately two pounds of powdered cocaine.
After finding the narcotics, K9 Viper punctured the packaging of the drugs and ingested a large amount of the cocaine. He was rushed to an emergency veterinarian, but he died shortly thereafter.
K9 Viper, a Belgian Malinois, was a patrol and narcotics trained K9 dog who worked with Dep. Zeller for the last three years. A memorial service was held on Tuesday for the fallen K9.
Two suspects were in custody for the incident.
Deploying a narcotics detector dog can be hazardous to the safety of the animal, as accidents cannot always be avoided due to the canine’s independent and inquisitive nature.
This situation has happened to me, fortunately without the fatal consequences. Our staff mourns the loss of a fine K9 dog and sends condolences to Dep. Zeller.
Randall spent eight years as a Police K9 Handler. His two German Shepherd Dogs were deployed for Patrol, Narcotics, and SWAT. He also handled a narcotics-trained Labrador Retriever. He is currently a K9 Unit Sergeant.