PEABODY — Caine, the Peabody Police Department's bomb-sniffing K-9, died Thursday at age 4 1/2, the department announced on Friday.
But the crime-fighting German shepherd on Wednesday will be given the honor of one last ride.
Caine's final ride will start at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 15 at Bulger Veterinary Hospital in Lawrence and end at the Peabody police station at 6 Allens Lane, according to Special Services Capt. Scott Richards.
People are encouraged to line the route to pay their respects to Caine. The law enforcement procession is expected to arrive at the police station between 11:15 and 11:30 a.m.
For the past three years, Caine has been the partner of Peabody police officer Corey Salvo. He was the department's only K-9.
According to a social media post from the department, Caine fell ill suddenly on Wednesday and was taken to Bulger Veterinary Hospital for evaluation.
"After a thorough examination it was determined that Caine would be unable to survive his illness," the post read.
Police Chief Thomas Griffin said Caine had "some serious medical problems" which would have required exploratory surgery that "wouldn't have solved the problem." Two veterinarians counseled it would be better to let him go peaceably than to have him suffer.
Since joining the department in 2016, Caine has been credited with finding about 30 missing or wanted individuals. He was deployed more than 280 times.
"He served the Peabody Police Department and Officer Salvo with fierce loyalty, commitment and distinction," police wrote. "Officer Salvo and his beloved partner Caine were highly regarded by his peers and he will be sorely missed by all."
Police Capt. Dennis Bonauito said on Monday Salvo was on leave and was unavailable for comment.
Caine, a bomb-sniffing K-9 originally from Hungary, filled a void in the department when Sgt. Argo retired in 2011 and died two years later.
When he was not on patrol or training, Caine was home with Salvo and his wife and their two other dogs.
“He’s actually with me 24 hours a day, so I see him more than I do my family,” said Salvo in a 2017 interview. Salvo, a Middleton native and Peabody resident, met and chose Caine at Connecticut Canine Services in Bethany, Connecticut. The plan was for Caine to remain with the Salvo family after he retired.
The department purchased the dog, outfitted the cruiser and paid for training through a $25,000 grant from the Stanton Foundation, a nonprofit which often aids departments in getting new K-9 units. The foundation was also a major contributor to Peabody’s dog park.
"They did a lot of good work together," Griffin said of Salvo and Caine. He was a constant presence at the Northshore Mall at Christmastime, and he would go all over if another department needed a K-9 trained to detect explosives as part of the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, Griffin said.
"We didn't hesitate to let him go out of the city at all," Griffin said. Caine and Salvo also helped locating missing people, including the elderly or those with some form of dementia who wandered from home.
Caine was expected to serve the department for roughly 10 years, Griffin said, and his death "caught us all kind of short."
The department is looking at various options to get a new K-9 and continue the program, given that Salvo is trained as a dog handler and the department has the necessary equipment.
Caine left his mark on the department in just three years. This past October, Caine and Salvo assisted an investigation during which police seized $1.2 million worth of marijuana, byproducts like THC oil used in vaping devices and infused edibles, hallucinogenic mushrooms, oxycodone and thousands of vape cartridges from a Peabody home.
In August 2018, Salvo and Caine assisted an investigation into how a handgun with a defaced serial number ended up under a mattress at a Route 1 motel. Police investigating the incident found a second gun while questioning the man who had rented the room, and four people wound up facing firearms charges.
In November 2017, the pair were involved in an extensive search with Peabody police and detectives seeking an 18-year-old Peabody man who was charged with attempted murder after police said he stabbed another employee in the kitchen area of the Century House restaurant on Route 114.
"There was not a more dedicated pair of K-9 and handler than those two," Richards said.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @TannerSalemNews.
Details of Caine’s final ride
Peabody K-9 Caine’s final ride will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 15, according to Peabody police Capt. Scott Richards.
The ride starts at 10:30 a.m. at Bulger Veterinary Hospital, 141 Winthrop Ave. (Route 114), Lawrence, and ends at the Peabody Police Station, 6 Allens Lane, at approximately 11:15 to 11:30 p.m.
The route will take Caine on Route 114 east from Bulger Veterinary Hospital past the Northshore Mall to Wilson Square. The ride will continue straight through Wilson Square onto Central Street to Peabody Square, then turn right onto Lowell Street past City Hall, then turn left on Perkins Street to Allens Lane ending at the Peabody Police Station.
Law enforcement officers who wish to participate in Caine’s final ride should muster in Bulger Veterinary Hospital's parking lot at 10 a.m. At the conclusion of the ride there will be a “walk by” for law enforcement officers in the training room at the Peabody Police station.
While the walk through will be for law enforcement only, members of the public are encouraged to line the route to pay respects to K-9 Caine and show support for officer Corey Salvo, Caine's handler, and the Peabody Police Department.
Contact Richards with questions at 978-538-6359, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.