Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Hondo, a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois ,was a K-9 member of the Herriman City Police Department in Utah that was killed earlier this month while apprehending a fugitive. He had assisted his partner Sgt. Ben Ricks will over 100 felony arrests and was ranked as one of the state's top K-9's. "PSD Hondo was a true warrior then his actions ensured that his loving friend and partner Ben [Ricks] would able to return home to his wife, children, and HPD family," the chief said at the press conference on February 14.
Johnny Ward and Keith Eccles run an auto body and paint shop that also specialize in custom caskets, though their services usually require a two month waiting period. But when the police called the shop and said they were bringing a casket over the next morning, they did not hesitate. The shop completed the casket, featuring an American flag and a hand-drawn portrait of Hondo's face. in just 24 hours and painted it free of charge.
“It’s hard work, but there’s an incredible sense of satisfaction,” Ward said. "This dog really is a hero.”
See David Aaro, Police Dog Killed in Line of Duty to be Honored with Custom Painted Casket, Fox News, February 24, 2020.