Death of patrol canine called ‘a tragic accident’

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

July 19, 2007 - Hopkins County Sheriff's Office's canine officer, Jack, died Wednesday as a result of what authorities consider a tragic accident.

The death is believed to be accidental but will be investigated by an outside agency, likely the Texas Ranger, Hopkins County Attorney Dusty Rabe said Thursday morning.

"The information gathering will take a couple of days and Sheriff Butch Adams has requested that an outside agency investigate the situation, which is understandable," Rabe said.

"The county is looking at this situation as a horrible tragedy," she added. "Anyone who knows Cpl. Eddie Moon knows him to be not only an outstanding employee but a great father and a devoted husband.”

HCSO Chief Deputy Rickey Morgan called the dog's death "a terrible loss for Cpl. Moon and his family."

"They are taking it pretty hard right now," Morgan said. "Jack worked with Cpl. Moon every day for the last few years and lived in his home." 

The loss was the second of the day for Moon's family, which is thought to be a contributing factor in the accident.

Moon was notified, of a death in the family at 5 a.m. Wednesday, just an hour before he was to finish out the midnight shift. When he left work, he went to the hospital to be with the family, leaving Jack in the running car. Between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Wednesday, Moon returned home with Jack.

Moon and Jack's normal routine involved the dog exiting the car with Moon by sliding out a vent window in the cage in the car and following Moon out. When Moon, a 10-year employee of the sheriff's office, arrived home he went inside

´┐ŻAround 1:30 p.m. when Moon went to his car, he discovered the canine partner was still inside, dead. The corporal immediately contacted his supervisor, Sgt. Todd Evans, who notified administrators of Jack's death, according to Morgan.

"He was distraught — that was his partner," Morgan said. "Jack was with him all the time at work and home, and he trained with him all the time."

"It is common for individuals to get in a set routine in their daily lives," Rabe said. "It clearly wasn't out of the ordinary for Moon to arrive home with Jack, as he does this daily. However, his daily routine was disrupted, and due to the change in pattern in his routine, combined with a change in Jack's behavior when he arrived home, this tragedy occurred.

Canine Jack was buried earlier this morning in Moon's back yard.

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