Local Retired Police K-9 Passes Away, 3 Years After Retirement

Wagswoofs – A retired police canine from Wapakoneta, Ohio, has sadly passed away after just over three years of retirement.

The Wapakoneta Police Department shared the sad news of the passing of retired K-9 Rico on Friday, Dec. 8. Rico, who had served alongside his dedicated handler, Joseph Welker, has left a void in their hearts.


The canine was born in Czechia, formerly Czechoslovakia, in 2009. It joined the Wapakoneta Police Department in 2011, after being donated by the Brands Lake Fishing Club.

Before retiring in November 2020, Rico and Joseph were recognized for their outstanding achievements, which included:

    • Apprehending criminals
    • Assisting with drug round-ups across Auglaize County
    • Helping during high-risk incidents
    • Locating large amounts of illegal drugs, such as bulk prescription drugs, cocaine, heroin, LSD and methamphetamines

“K9 Rico exemplified unwavering loyalty and was always ready to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect his handler, fellow officers, and the community,” emphasized the Wapakoneta police. “The streets of our town have become safer thanks to Rico’s dedicated service.”

The Wapakoneta police express their deep sadness over the loss of K-9 Rico, who will be remembered with love and cherished memories.

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