A decorated police dog who was shot in the line of duty in 2004 has died, police said Wednesday.
Aryn, a 12-year-old German Shepard, was euthanized Wednesday after a series of ongoing health problems, said Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Darren Moloney.
Gwinnett County police Cpl. Mike Waddell, the department's K-9 unit trainer, had taken Aryn as his pet dog after Aryn retired. Wadell was not available for comment, Moloney said.
"He's in no condition to talk," Moloney said. "It's like a death in the family."
Police credit Aryn with helping protect Wadell's life while chasing a murder suspect in 2004. Aryn and Wadell had been chasing Terry Chaney on a January night in 2004 after Chaney allegedly shot and killed Tucker High School coach Billy Venable and his son Bill, a varsity football player.
Chaney shot Aryn in the chest and leg. Police then shot and killed Chaney, 19.
The dog was retired a month later.
Aryn received several commendations, including two Medals of Valor, a Purple Heart and lifetime membership from the local Fraternal Order of Police, as well as being named one of the Officers of the Year for 2004 by Gwinnett Police. "This selfless act most assuredly saved the lives of the officers that were with him at the time," Gwinnett police Cpl. Darren Moloney said in a statement released Wednesday.
Police will hold private services. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the following: The Cody Fund c/o Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia 6500 Sugarloaf Parkway, Suite 220 Duluth, Ga. 30097. At the group's Web site, www.gfi.actx.com, click "Funds" at the top of the screen and scroll down to read more about The Cody Fund.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Jan. 24, 2007