RNJ News Department

Sussex County Sheriff’s search and resuce K-9 Blaze dies unexpectedly

NEWTON, N.J. (Sussex County) – The Sussex County Sheriff’s Office is mourning the loss of their search and rescue K-9.

Sussex County Sheriff Michael Strada said, “he is deeply saddened to announce the unexpected death of K-9 Blaze, who died suddenly but peacefully in his sleep over the weekend.”

Lt. Ellicott served as Blaze’s handler. A former service dog for the visually impaired, “Nate” was training at The Seeing Eye in Morristown when he was adopted by Ellicott in April of 2008. A gentle, docile, dog, “Blaze” as he was renamed by Ellicott, was so peaceful that he actually had to be taught how to bark. It was this calm, yet playful, demeanor that made him ideally suited for Search & Rescue work. Upon the completion of his initial training, K-9 Blaze became a certified Search & Rescue dog on October 19, 2008, Strada said.

Throughout his 8 year career with the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office, K-9 Blaze responded to, and assisted in the location of, over 40 missing juveniles, adults, and seniors, throughout Sussex County and the surrounding area, Strada said.

Sheriff Strada joins the men and women of the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office in mourning the passing of K-9 Blaze and our thoughts are with the Ellicott and his family.

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By: Jay Edwards
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