Manistee County Mourns After K-9 Hit, Killed by Car

Sheriff's Department Loses "Beno" in Tragic Accident

A local sheriff’s office is mourning the loss of one of its own. Their k-9 was killed in an accident Tuesday night. The Manistee County Sheriff says his department is devastated, after their k-9 was hit by a car.

Sheriff John O’Hagan says it’s “A very tough day. This type of news there really is no way to deal with the grief, that everyone’s feeling right now.”

The dog’s death happened just hours after the animal helped deputies solve a case they’d been working on, according to the Sheriff.  “Beno” had been on the job for just over a year. 9&10 News featured the new hire back in June of 2018.

The Sheriff says, “Every single dog is different and Beno had quite the personality. He came over from Poland. Brandon (Gillespie) teamed up with him and what’s interesting about him, Beno had a social personality. Which you don’t always see in a canine dog. When it was time to work he would work, but when it was time to play he was very sociable.”

But Beno had a short-lived career with the Sheriff’s office. Tuesday night, just hours after finishing his shift, he was playing at home. “The handler, the dog, and family, we’re out and it was just a simple as the dog took a few steps into the roadway and a car was coming.” The sheriff says it was a desolate road with not a lot of traffic – and he calls it a fluke accident. “No one did anything wrong. The driver was not going too fast. The driver of the vehicle stopped and was devastated. As we are. So, yes, just a tough situation.”

Beno was about two years old and have been with the department for just over a year. But he and his handler were joined at the hip, both personally and professionally. “Deputy Gillespie trained with him, and trained and trained. He wanted him to be the best dog. So it’s just absolutely devastating.”

The sheriff says he absolutely wants a k-9 to be part of the department’s future, and he believes the community will support it wholeheartedly. But right now the pain is too fresh to make any decisions. “To not see him here anymore, it’s a big loss. You develop a relationship with an animal that unless you’re an animal owner and lover of animals, you just don’t understand.” And the Sheriff adds he was considered a fellow officer and part of the team. “We are considered an extended family, just like that is a partner of ours.”