WESTERVILLE, Ohio —
On Tuesday, a city council in Ohio decided to retire the K9 partner of a police officer killed in the line of duty.
According to WBNS, Westerville City Council determined it was important for police officer Eric Joering’s K9 partner, Sam, to spend the rest of his days with Joering’s wife and three daughters.
“You’ve got three little girls that are hurting real bad. This is an opportunity for them to heal just a little bit,” Westerville police Chief Joe Morbitzer said.
Morbitzer said the therapeutic value of the dog to the family is impossible to measure.
Eric Joering, 39, and Anthony Morelli, 54, were shot while responding to a hang-up 911 call at a town home Saturday afternoon in Westerville.
Sam and his trainer, Mike Pennington, responded to the scene of the deadly shooting. He said it was clear that the K9 was upset.
“You could tell he knew something. Like, there’s a lot of things that just happened. I don’t really know what they are,” said Pennington.
Pennington recalled watching Sam relax when he picked up Joering’s scent.
“You could see ‘ahhhh.’ He understood. He decompressed right there. It was somebody he knew that he trusted. I hooked him and took him out of the car, he jumped up on me like thanks,” Pennington said.
Quentin Smith, 30, faces two preliminary charges of aggravated murder in the officers’ deaths. He was also shot and is hospitalized.