Former K-9, Henry, passes away

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published December 16, 2015

 Longtime K-9 Henry plays fetch during a March 31 Shelby-Utica News interview about his April retirement. On Dec. 6, Henry was laid to rest after a brief struggle with an aggressive infection.

Longtime K-9 Henry plays fetch during a March 31 Shelby-Utica News interview about his April retirement. On Dec. 6, Henry was laid to rest after a brief struggle with an aggressive infection.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Six months after retiring in April, former Shelby Township Police Department K-9  dog Henry succumbed to an aggressive infection Dec. 6 at age 11.

Since November 2005, Henry lived and worked with his handler, patrolman Kevin Treworgy. The duo went on hundreds of raids, sniffed out the tracks of countless criminals and helped fight crime in a wide range of capacities.

“He was an integral member of the department,” Police Chief Robert Shelide said. “He was a valuable asset and one of the reasons that led me to pursue the purchase of (our newly sworn-in K-9) Morpheus.”

Treworgy said that since Henry’s retirement April 17, he has been working quite a bit, so his daughter took Henry in, although he visited several times a week.

After an infection worsened, a specialty veterinarian said it might be the result of a neurodegenerative disease or tumor. His family made the difficult decision to put him down after he was sedated for four to five days, Treworgy said.

“It wasn’t him. It sucked,” Treworgy said. “It’s just like putting down a family pet. It’s never easy, but there comes a point you want him to go with some dignity as well.”

On Henry’s first traffic stop, Treworgy said, Henry more than paid for himself. He located 12 bags of marijuana hidden in the driver’s pants. Later, police found several more pounds of marijuana in the suspect’s residence, plus a loaded gun and more than $100,000.

Treworgy said a highlight of Henry’s career was the retrieval of a bag of drugs that a suspect threw into a muddy, 100-foot-deep culvert during a foot chase — evidence that police needed to charge the suspect.

In the months before Henry’s retirement, Treworgy said, he and Henry stopped doing aggression work, or attacking pseudo “bad guys,” during his weekly training, and Treworgy stopped letting Henry jump over high fences.

In his last months, Treworgy said, Henry enjoyed a laid-back lifestyle of being allowed on couches, napping in the sun and playing in the snow.

Approximately 24 hours after the Shelby Township Police Department posted a tribute to Henry on its Facebook page, the status had 61,082 views, 1,343 likes and 434 shares, according to officer Leslie Heisler, who operates the department’s Facebook account.

Many Facebook users shared photos of Henry out in the community and expressed their condolences.

“He was a great partner and served the department well,” Treworgy said. “We got a lot of stuff done, got a lot of drugs off the street and took a lot of money from the drug dealers. He enjoyed doing it.”

On Dec. 1, Clerk Stan Grot swore in Henry’s successor, Morpheus, a black German shepherd who has been partnered with officer Joseph Wojcik.

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