LUDINGTON, Mich. – A Mason County K-9 officer unexpectedly died Monday evening.
Sheriff Kim Cole announced that K-9 Cash was found dead in his kennel by his handler just before 6:00 p.m. Monday. Cash had worked with his handler, Deputy Ken Baum, over the holiday weekend.
Cash was an 8-year-old Dutch Shepard and had been with the Mason County Sheriff since 2013. He was planned to be retiring in 2020.
The sheriff says that one of Cash’s biggest successes was tracking a four-year-old boy who had autism who had gotten lost in 2016. The boy had gone over a mile from his home. The boy befriended Cash and Cash led him back to rescuers. Cash was awarded the National Association of Professional Canine Handlers Life Saving Award for the rescue.
Cash was also credited with tracking and capturing a wanted fugitive in a swamp in Manistee County in February 2018. He also tracked a man wanted in several break-ins in March of 2018. That man was sentenced to up to 50 years in prison.
A veterinarian is examining Cash to determine the cause of his death. No foul play is suspected.
Manistee, Oceana and Lake County sheriff’s offices and Michigan State Police will help cover K-9 services in Mason County until their new dog, K-9 Diego, is trained.