HCSO says goodbye to two retiring K-9s

Harris County Sheriff's Office K-9 dogs, Elmo (left) and Kanau were presented retirement badges by Sheriff Adrian Garcia earlier this week

February 3, 2012 4:25:16 PM PST
Two of the Harris County Sheriff's Office most beloved four-legged members are retiring from the force.

Earlier this week, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia presented retirement badges K-9 deputies Kanau and Elmo, which each spent five years with the organization.

The dogs were joined by their colleagues in a retirement reception at the HCSO's District 5 patrol substation honoring their service.

Kanau's track record includes 65 felony and 37 misdemeanors arrests; and seizures resulting in more than $630,000 in cash, 1,700 pounds of marijuana, 50 kilos of cocaine, and 2.6 pounds of methamphetamine.

Elmo leaves with an impressive 82 suspect captures and seizures resulting in 12,000 pounds of marijuana, 350 kilos of cocaine, 13.7 kilos of methamphetamine, 1 kilo of heroine, 5 vehicles, and a whopping $5.2 million in cash.

"Kanau was my first canine partner and I have enjoyed having worked with him throughout the years," said Deputy Larry Graves, Kanau's handler, in a prepared statement. "I will truly miss the time we spent together at work."

Kanau is retiring due to health reasons and age. Elmo, whose partner Deputy Carl Kowis recently left the HCSO, because of his age, too.

"It would have taken at least another year for Elmo to bond with another handler," said Sgt. William Thomas of the HCSO's K-9 unit. "By then he would have been just too old."

Each K-9 deputy lives and works with its handler throughout his/her service and remains with them beyond retirement.

"We as handlers have our partners live with us, where we love and care for them until they pass," Deputy Graves explained. "He is a very large part of my family and will remain with me at my residence throughout his retirement years, where he will continue to be loved."

The HCSO's K-9 unit currently consists of 21 dogs.