Memorial held for K9 Corporal Lily
Blair County, PA —
Tuesday the Blair County Sheriff's Office announced the loss of one of their own, their original K-9 officer, K-9 Corp. Lily.
Mourning the loss of K-9 Corp.Lily, the department knew they had to honor her in a special way. Wednesday, they held a memorial for Lily at the Blair County Law Enforcement Memorial site, and said goodbye one last time.
A procession led by officers brought K-9 Lily home for the last time, from the Hollidaysburg Animal Clinic where she was treated.
"What was really special was the bond that she had with R.J. her handler -- it was a bond like no other," said Lily's vet Kendra Idle.
Officers from the Blair County Sheriff's Office, members of the military and community all gathered for K-9 Corp. Lily's memorial. In her 13 years of life, K-9 Corp. Lily served four tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan as an explosives detection dog. The U.S. Army Special Forces donated Lily to the Blair County Sheriff's Office in 2013.
"True professional. She was very driven to please, very tasked in her abilities. She was a professional, she was awesome," said Blair County Sheriff James E. Ott.
K-9 Corp. Lily's ashes were presented to her handler Officer R.J. Peo and his wife upon arriving at the memorial as Taps played. Together they placed Lily's ashes down on the Blair County Law Enforcement Memorial site to say their final goodbyes, and were presented with an American flag for Lily's service.
Throughout the tribute to K-9 Corp. Lily, members of the community teared up. Her veterinarian, Idle, and other vets from Hollidaysburg Animal Clinic laid roses on the memorial along with a tennis ball, which she was never seen without according to Idle. Officers spoke highly of Lily's work ethic and dedication to serving her country and community.
"For her to be our first original K-9 to develop the program we have certainly put high standards, just by the way she conducted herself and her personality," said Ott.
K-9 Corp. Lily was always driven to serve until her health took a turn this year due to her old age according to Ott. Pennsylvania State Police even flew their helicopter over the memorial to pay tribute to Lily.
"Never slowed up until this last year that health caught up with her. She just worked hard. Working that hard and dedicating herself to service, we owed this to her. Just like we do when we honor the officers killed in the line of duty at this memorial site," said Ott.
Although everyone will miss K-9 Corp. Lily, her bravery and dedication will never be forgotten. Her ashes will remain with her handler Officer R.J. Peo, so that they will always be together.