EUGENE, Ore. -- The Eugene Police Department (EPD) is mourning the loss of Blek, a canine team member who served as patrol dog.
Blek was off-duty with his officer -- Rob Griesel -- when police say an unknown driver hit and killed him. Police said he was a cherished dog and his warrior spirit left a legacy with the department.
Police said he was just weeks away from retirement and Saturday was supposed to be his last day on the job.
The incident happened Friday at around 5:00 p.m. in rural lane county.
Lt. Chuck Salsbury said just this year, Blek was honored with canine awards for capturing a suspect in the shooting of a deputy.
"He was quite talented. You know, he had a knack for protection,” said Salsbury. “He “As far as the ability to track he's probably one of the best that I've seen.”
He says Blek also had a special heart for kids and loved being around them.
Blek was a German shepherd from Slovakia. He was born in 2009 and joined the Eugene Police Department just three years later.
The department said they will greatly miss him, especially since he served the community with honor and distinction.