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K-9 shot and killed in line of duty to be laid to rest in custom casket

Posted at 5:57 PM, Feb 24, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A K-9 officer shot and killed in the line of duty in Utah will be laid to rest in a special casket.

Hondo, a Belgian Malinois, recently suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the sternum while working to capture a wanted fugitive in Salt Lake City.

The dog worked alongside Sgt. Ben Ricks at the Herriman Police Department for around five years. Together, they made more than 100 felony arrests and seized hundreds of pounds of drugs.

Rawtin Garage in West Valley City customized a casket for the K-9 to be buried in. The shop told KSTU that it had worked with the department before, building their bikes.

However, this was a very special project for John Ward, the owner of the shop.

"Each of those logos means something," Ward said. "The blue line means something. The portrait means something. You want to show his personality — the sparkle in his eyes, his little floppy ears, you know, those are all unique to him.”

K-9 Hondo’s memorial is scheduled for Feb. 29.

"What an honor it was to paint a hero’s casket," wrote Rawtin Garage in a Facebook post.