While our police do a great job of protecting us, they often receive all the recognition. However, many of them could not do the job they do without help from man’s best friend, or in a policeman’s case, his K9 unit partner.
Could you imagine that instead of your dog sitting at home while you’re out all day, he not only comes to work with you, but also helps you on the job?
This is the relationship Shawn Humphreys of the Lawrenceville Police Department had with his companion and partner, K9 Eiko. Eiko, who had been Humphreys partner for several years, passed away from cancer at the age of 8. The department and community were devastated, but none more than officer Shawn Humphreys.
“He was one of the truest forms of a real police officer,” said Humphreys at Eiko’s memorial ceremony.
However, even in death, Eiko managed to save one more life. Kristin Sarkar had a chance to meet Eiko while she was still alive. Humphreys and his wife went to her for a photoshoot. Sarkar, the founder of Releash Atlanta, a group that finds home for homeless dogs, saw Eiko’s death as an opportunity to help another. At a rural shelter in Georgia, a German shepherd was being scheduled for euthanasia after being bitten by a snake.
“We don’t have a lot of funds,” explained Sarkar. “It wasn’t a dog we could take.” But after leaving the doomed dog, she had a change of heart. In the German shepherd, she saw an opportunity to both save his life and honor Eiko’s fallen memory. “We have to go back and get that dog!” She recalls thinking. And luckily, she did.
She went back, pulled him off of death row, and named him EJ, which she decided was short for Eiko Junior. The first family she offered him to was, you guessed it, the Humphreys. “We had to have a place for him to go before we could save him. The whole thing aligned perfectly and we could get him into their home,” said Sarkar. And after some medical treatment, EJ was able to go home with his new family.
At home, the Humphreys made a startling discovery. Instead of sleeping in the bed they had made for him, EJ decided to lie down right next to Shawn Humphreys chair, the exact same spot in which Eiko used to. While they love and wish they could keep EJ, he will have to carry on Eiko’s legacy with another family, as officer Humphry will soon be receiving another K9 partner from the police academy. He will soon be looking for a permanent home, and anyone who is interested in adopting the dog should reach out to Releash Atlanta at [email protected]
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