DANBURY — Koda, a police dog who served six years with the Danbury Police Department, died this week.
The department made the announcement on social media Friday.
K9 Koda, a Hungarian-born German shepherd, joined the department in 2011 and was partnered with Detective Travis Kupchok. The two patrolled the streets together until Koda’s retirement in 2017.
“K9 Koda will be sadly missed by all those who knew him,” the department wrote. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Detective Kupchok and his family.”
The department was able to purchase Koda thanks to a $10,000 donation from Don LaJoie, a former Danbury Racearena driver and New England Auto Racing Hall of Famer. LaJoie also owned a scrap metal and recycling businesses with yards in Danbury, New Milford and Norwalk.
Koda was able to go on patrol with officers and was trained to sniff out drugs.
Within Koda’s first few months on the job, he had already had more than 15 drug finds and helped out with crowd control on Ives Street.
Koda retired due to a brain tumor, according to a GoFundMe page created in April 2017.
The page was able to raise nearly $13,000 for veterinary bills in 21 months and featured dozens of messages of support.
The support was again evident on Friday.
More than 130 people commented on the department’s Facebook post, sharing condolences and thanking Koda for his year’s of service.
“Thank you for your service Koda,” one person wrote. “Today is a sad day, but a day that we should all be honoring you and your legacy.”