Turlock Police K9 Varick had to be put down on Wednesday, six months after being diagnosed with cancer.
Varick had a fibrosarcoma, a cancerous tumor derived from fibrous connective tissue. According to Pet MD, fibrosarcomas don’t always spread to other organs, but can “aggressively invade other tissue and bone that is near them.” The diagnosis was made when an officer felt a small bump along Varick’s jawline and he was taken to Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital for a biopsy. Six months after the diagnosis, the tumor had grown significantly and was affecting his health and quality of life.
Varick, a male sable German Shepherd and Malanois mix, was six years old. He had been with the Turlock Police Department for about four years and that whole time he had been partnered with Officer Nim Khano.
In a previous interview with the Journal, Khano said Varick was all business during the work hours, but at home could spend hours playing with his favorite toys and cozying up to his family for pets and snuggles.
In his role as a K9, Varick not only helped protect his partner and apprehend suspects, but also served as an ambassador of goodwill in the community. His demonstrations of agility and helping subdue a suspect were always popular attractions at the TPD’s open house events and he was always friendly to those coming up to meet him, especially children.
At least in the short term, the department will be down one K9. Not only is there the cost of the dog and the training, a significant amount of time has to go in on the handler’s part and the department doesn’t have those resources to spend, both financially and in labor, explained Turlock Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Parmley.
Varick made one final trip to the police department this week, where he was showered with love and affection from all the personnel. Dispatch sent Varick off with an emotional farewell:
“K9 Varick as we bid you farewell today your brothers and sisters in blue want to thank you for your service. We will miss your barking and howling on the radio, covering your partner and your visits to dispatch for a treat or two. Or three. Or four.
“It’s been an honor working with you Varick. We all love you and will forever cherish the memories we made with you. Thank you for your dedicated service and commitment to the Turlock community.
“Turlock units K9 Varick is 10-7 for the final time and over the rainbow bridge.”