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Police force loses service dog Tika

Lauren MacGill

Winkler Police Service Dog Tika passed away in March after a rapid decline in health.

Winkler Police Service Dog Tika passed away in March after a rapid decline in health.

WINKLER - 

The Winkler Police Service has announced that Tika, their Police Service Dog, has passed away.
Tika passed away in March after a rapid decline in health and a series of health-related complications. She was 10 years old, and started her work with the Winkler Police Service in 2010. She was assigned to Constable Arnie Klassen, and was the first ever K9 member of the service. “When we first implemented a canine program in our police service, I remember saying that even if our canine member never found any drugs, simply the ability to present drug talks in our elementary schools and getting kids’ undivided attention would be worth it alone,” Winkler Police Chief Rick Hiebert said. “That was proven to be true over the years.”
Constable Klassen and Tika visited the grade seven classrooms in Winkler every year, spreading an important message about drug use and the consequences, and showing the students how police work operates. The pair became well-known in the schools. “Those kids were riveted, to put it mildly,” Hiebert said.
Tika was a drug dog, and could identify nine different drugs, including meth, cocaine and heroin.
Tika was brought in at the end of drug searches, to make sure nothing got missed.  As well as her work in the field, Tika became well loved by the force.
“She was always looking for attention and definitely became part of our family,” Hiebert said. “She enjoyed nothing more than being petted.”
The Winkler Police Service is looking into securing another police dog for the force.