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The death of a crime fighter: K9 Lobo hit by a car
Riverview Lieutenant Kyle Cockream with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says, “The handler’s life depends on that dog and that dog’s life depends on that handler. They work as a team.”
On Sunday morning half of that team was gone. Lobo, a Hillsborough County sheriff’s office canine, was being boarded with several other canines from the crime fighting K9 unit at the Boyette Animal Hospital in Riverview. The facility is located at 10931 Boyette Road.
Lt. Cockream says “The handlers were out of town at a training session.”
Somehow Lobo got out of his kennel and jumped a seven foot fence. Someone spotted him early Sunday morning and called the sheriff’s office. Cockream says “We got a report from a citizen that they saw a large German shepherd wandering around the area that appeared to have a silver badge hanging from his collar.”
Nearly two dozen deputies searched for Lobo and the sheriff’s office sent out a helicopter to search too. By ten Sunday morning Lobo was discovered near Interstate 75 just north of the Gibsonton exit. Bryan Anderson was there and says “Well the dog came trotting in from the ditch walking in towards the freeway like it was disoriented like it didn’t know where it was going and this woman in the Toyota swerved to try to miss the dog and hit the dog and ended up facing southbound.”
The woman was visibly shaken and upset at the scene over what happened. Meanwhile the sheriff’s office released a statement explaining that the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is saddened by the loss saying the department “Expresses it’s condolences to Deputy Jason Allen and the entire canine section.”
The department also remembered Lobo’s contributions back on February 17th. They point to Lobo’s specialty which was drug detection. Authorities say Lobo helped in a case that led to four men being arrested for allegedly having nearly a thousand pounds of marijuana in the back of a U-Haul truck. The drugs were valued at a million dollars. The bust took place at 4541 Keene Road in Hillsborough County.
Lobo’s handler, Deputy Jason Allen, worked with Lobo for about a year and a half. Lt. Kyle Cockream adds “In our business a canine dog is truly another officer. The deputy spends as much time with that dog as they do with either a co-worker or a family member.”