Mourning Loss of Trusted Partner

The Service is mourning the death of canine member Garda.

The four-year-old English springer spaniel firearm and drug detector dog was named after Constable Darius Garda, of 51 Division, who died in 2016 after struggling with mental health challenges.

“Garda had a sudden illness and we tried very hard through our veterinarian to get her to respond to medication,” said Staff Sergeant Eric Hembruff, of Police Dog Services. “Unfortunately, she wasn’t responding and her condition got worse.”

He said Garda, whose handler was Constable Andrew Watts, was friendly and hardworking.

“Her drive was incredible,” said Hembruff. “She and her handler had a very strong bond, not just with himself, but his family. Garda also got along great with her partner, Nyx, who is a German Shepherd. They played together off duty and did really well.”

Hembruff said her death is a tragic loss.

“She will be greatly missed,” he added. “During her tenure, she had a lot of successful outcomes in finding ammunition, firearms and narcotics while helping out various units across the city, including Hold Up, Homicide and the Drug Squad.”

Watts, who has been with Police Dog Services for the last six years, said Garda will be greatly missed by him and his family.

“She was a very happy and high energy dog,” he said, noting it was apparent that Garda was not feeling well and her condition worsened within a day.

Watts said Garda was very close to his family.

“Ever since I took that dog home, my daughter – who is now seven years old – would play the ukulele in front of her kennel,” he added. “They had a special bond and my daughter has been crushed by Garda’s passing.”

Officers from 51 Division raised $3,700 within a week for the purchase of Garda in memory of their beloved fellow officer.

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