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Barney, Tacoma police K-9, dies after sniffing meth during drug raid

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Posted at 10:21 PM, Mar 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-26 22:21:52-04

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TACOMA, Wash. — A Tacoma police K-9 has died after ingesting powdered methamphetamine during a raid Tuesday night.

“Barney will be remembered as a dedicated member of our department, who without a doubt, made Tacoma safer by virtue of his work and his service. Barney died in the line of duty and will be honored as such,” Tacoma Police Chief Donald Ramsdell said.

Officials said officers were investigating a narcotics complaint and serving a search warrant when Barney, an 11-year-old K-9, ingested the meth. Barney was taken to BluePearl Veterinary Hospital.

KPTV reports that Dr. Kobi Johnson, a senior clinician with BluePearl, said Barney had a body temperature of 109 and was experiencing hyperthermia and seizures when he arrived at the hospital.

Police say by Wednesday morning, Barney was becoming more alert and responsive. However, he died Wednesday evening from complications from ingesting the drug.

“Methamphetamines are extremely toxic to dogs,” Johnson said.

Police say narcotics K-9s usually signal the presence of drugs by placing their noses on the substance. During the Tuesday drug raid, police say the drugs were unwrapped and Barney came directly in contact with the methamphetamine.

Barney and his handler, Officer Henry Betts, have worked together since 2010.

“He’s a phenomenal dog,” Betts said. “Really just incredible.”

The department is asking that folks who wish to make a donation in Barney’s honor to do so at their local humane society in lieu of flowers.