Honoring the career of St. Joseph County Police K-9 Luna

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 6:19 PM EDT
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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - A St. Joseph County Police K-9 has wrapped up a memorable career that spanned nearly three years.

K-9 Luna recently retired from service on the department.

Her former handler, Sgt. Matthew Parmelee, said an October 2020 shooting that injured Luna as well as a local SWAT officer shortened Luna’s career. The Dutch Shepherd was shot by the suspect for whom officers were serving a warrant.

“I always say that things happen for a reason, and I think that day we were put in a place we were put in for a reason. I believe she saved some lives that day, that’s for sure.

“Including your own?” asked Maria Catanzarite.

“Including my own, for sure. She’s my hero,” Parmelee answered.

After undergoing surgery and months of medical treatment, Luna returned to the line of duty but has continued to battle loss of movement in her right leg (where she was shot) and PTSD related to the shooting.

Four-year-old Luna retired within the last month as a result.

“It’s definitely not something we wanted to do. She’s still got a lot of potential as far as if she didn’t suffer from the PTSD, and [if] the, the range of movement wasn’t so lacks on her,” said Parmelee. “She done her job that day [on October 13th, 2020]. And it’s her time now to relax and enjoy her golden years.”

Luna loves to play ball, eat sticks, and chase cats. She will continue to live with Sgt. Parmelee and his family.

“Luna is just an all-around great dog. She listens really well. She’s very friendly, very protective of our family, obviously. And her personality is just amazing,” remarked Parmelee.

Luna is the last K-9 for which Parmelee will serve as a handler. He now works as a detective at the St. Joseph County Police Department.