Incident Date: 6/2/16

Posted by: Media Relations

Retired K-9 passes away

Sheriff Mike Boudreaux announces the passing of Kayo, a retired K-9, who served the department from 2006-2012. His handler was Sheriff’s Deputy Doug Burch, stationed out of Visalia Headquarters Patrol. 

“Our hearts go out to Deputy Burch and all the K-9 handlers who worked with him and Kayo,” Sheriff Boudreaux said. “We appreciate his work.”

Kayo was the first K-9 purchased with money from the Sence Foundation and was named for Kim Oviatt, president. The Sheriff’s Office is currently raising funds to replace two K-9s who recently retired. 

Donations can be sent to the Tulare County Deputy Sheriff’s Benevolent Association (TCDSBA) with “Tulare County K-9” written in the subject line of the check. 

Kayo, a Belgian Malinois, was very protective, Deputy Burch said. Many times, suspects surrendered on the spot before deploying Kayo.

“You can’t quantify how many times K-9s are there for us,” he said. “Plenty of guys told me they would have run away but Kayo terrified them.”

One incident, Burch remembers well happened near Woodlake. A man wanted for his third strike was located and it had been rumored that he wasn’t going to be taken in without a fight.

Deputy Burch responded to the call and drove down the driveway with the windows down. Kayo started barking. 

“Kayo was very protective,” he said. “He had a bark and a growl that was extremely aggressive.”

The suspect heard Kayo barking and gave up with his hands in the air.

“He absolutely surrendered because of that dog,” Burch said. “I had more surrenders than bites with Kayo.” 

Kayo was never shot or stabbed. 

At the Sierra K-9 Trials held annually in Visalia, Kayo usually won the Agitators Choice award for being the hardest-hitting dog. He also won trophies for agility, obedience, protection and overall winner. 

Kayo was able to apprehend suspects while on patrol, but he was a social butterfly in the briefing room at headquarters, in the emergency dispatch center and at home. 

Deputy Burch recalled one morning he was getting ready for work and Kayo was in the backyard. When he went outside to get him, Kayo was laying on the grass as his daughter, then 4, was finger-painting on him.

“My dog looked like every color of the rainbow,” he said. “He was a gentle giant at home.”

Deputy Burch said it’s very easy to grow fond of K-9s, given the amount of time handlers spend with their dogs. 

“I spent more time with him than I did with my wife and kids,” he said.

His oldest child was 2 years old when he first brought Kayo home. Now, he has four children and a second K-9, Daisy.

Deputy Burch has been working with Daisy since Kayo retired.

DONATIONS: Mail checks to TCDSBA at 704 W. Main St., Visalia, CA 93291. Be sure to write “Tulare County K-9” in the subject line.