Note: Candy died on October 27 from cancer, the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office announced.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The first narcotics-detecting dog on the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office force has retired.
Candy, an 11-year-old German Shepherd, was set to retire later this year, but a recent cancer diagnosis forced those plans to change.
On Monday, led by her handler Master Deputy II Anthony “Tony” Natalzia, K9 Candy ended her nearly 10 years with the department.
VBSO deputies lined a hallway at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center to give Candy a final salute for her dedicated service.
“She loved to work; she lived for it. There is no doubt in my mind she stayed strong and continued to fight until she just could not anymore,” said MDII Natalzia. “The bond and trust we had was something I had never experienced before. Candy will be missed.”
According to the sheriff’s office, since joining the VBSO, K9 Candy and her handlers have completed thousands of operational searches and helped seize more than 278 pounds of illicit narcotics with an estimated street value of $937,895.
The department says every time K9 Candy raised the red flag on someone, they tested positive for illegal drug use.
K9 Candy’s service also included work with the Chesapeake Police Department, Norfolk Police Department, Portsmouth Police Department, Virginia Beach Police Department and Virginia State Police.