It was a tough assignment for John Claterbaugh, a sergeant and K-9 handler with the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office.
He had to retire his partner K-9 Baron last Thursday evening because of an advanced case of inoperable cancer that had spread throughout his body.
The medical procedure that euthanized Baron was preceded by his final walk before a cadre of Botetourt sheriff’s deputies who lined the driveway at Botetourt Veterinary Hospital south of Fincastle.
Led by Sgt. Claterbaugh and followed by Lt. Jeff Boone escorting Erin Claterbaugh, Baron passed by the saluting deputies on his “last walk.”
Retiring Baron was tough on the Claterbaughs and the Sheriff’s Office.
“Baron will be missed by his handler Sgt. John Claterbaugh, his family and the Sheriff’s Office. K-9 Baron has been an asset to us for the past six years and will be missed greatly,” a statement by the Sheriff’s Office said.
K-9 Baron, a German Shepherd, came to the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office in 2011 certified in patrol and narcotics detection.
He grew to become a valued member of the Sheriff’s Office and for seven years faithfully served the department and the citizens of Botetourt County, the statement said.
In addition to working in a patrol function alongside his handler, K-9 Baron enjoyed visiting local schools, doing public demonstrations and meeting with community members of all ages to educate them about the Sheriff’s Office and the K-9 program.
In his off duty time, K-9 Baron enjoyed spending time at home with his handler and his family.
Baron was involved in a criminal case just two weeks before when he apprehended a wanted suspect after a three-mile track, the Sheriff’s Office reported.
K-0 Baron’s End of Watch was Thursday, August 31, 2017.