A police dog killed in the line of duty will be buried in a special casket bearing his portrait
A Utah paint shop that specializes in motorcycles and classic cars has designed a customized casket for a fallen police dog.
Hondo, a K-9 with Herriman City’s Police Department, was shot while assisting officers apprehending a fugitive in Salt Lake City on February 13. Hondo suffered a gunshot wound to the sternum and died at a nearby veterinary hospital.
The police department contacted Rawtin Garage with an urgent request to honor Hondo’s life: a customized casket.
“They asked if we could get something together since we have done work on their motorcycles before,” John Ward, owner of Rawtin Garage, told CNN.
Twenty-four hours later, Rawtin revealed the special casket. Its custom design, all hand painted or airbrushed, included a portrait of Hondo wearing his police harness.
“What an honor it was to paint a hero’s casket,” the garage posted on Facebook.
The crew at Rawtin Garage normally custom paints motorcycles and classic cars this was their first casket design.
Hondo was a seven-year-old Belgian Malinois who was trained in Europe prior to joining the force of the Harriman City Police Department back in 2015.
The artist who did the custom-painted image of Hondo by hand on the casket, Eccles, spoke to KSL-TV and revealed, “In a weird way, it was kind of a spiritual experience. You feel like, by the time you’re done, you really got to know Hondo.”
Hondo had been working with his partner, Sgt. Ben Ricks. Together, the pair had a track record of more than 100 felony arrests. Hondo was quite the accomplished K-9, ranking near the top of Utah’s best K-9s in the state. And, according to Carr, in 2018, Hondo took first place in the international trials.