‘Final call for K9 unit Macho.’ Ky. sheriff’s office says goodbye to police dog who had cancer

There were some “not-so-dry eyes and scratchy throats” Saturday, as officers and dogs from several Central Kentucky law enforcement agencies said a final goodbye to K9 unit Macho, who worked with the Jessamine County Sheriff’s Office.

Lt. Daniel Schlernitzauer said Macho was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer just a few weeks ago, after Macho’s handler, Deputy Carson Gentry, noticed that he was more listless than usual.

Macho, who was 5 years old, was found to have multiple tumors, and the difficult decision was made to put him to sleep, Schlernitzauer said.

Saturday, as Macho and Gentry arrived at PetVet365 in Brannon Crossing, they were flanked by saluting law enforcement officers as they made their way inside, a video posted to Facebook by the sheriff’s office shows.

There were a few whines from other dogs in attendance, and a dispatcher on the radio could be heard giving “the final call for K9 unit Macho.”

“He was a loyal partner, protector and best friend to his handler,” the dispatcher said in the video. “...We thank you for your service.”

She said Macho had given “an extraordinary two-and-a-half years of service” to the department and had assisted in finding narcotics and apprehending multiple suspects.

Schlernitzauer said the sheriff’s office wanted to find “a good way to honor all he had done,” so Schlernitzauer reached out to a canine handler with the Lexington Police Department Friday night, and they worked together to arrange Saturday’s sendoff for Macho.

He said the Jessamine County Sheriff’s Office was there, along with representatives from the Nicholasville Police Department, Lexington Police Department, Paris Police Department and Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, some of whom brought their police dogs with them.

“I don’t know of a better way to honor a fallen K9 unit,” he said Saturday afternoon.

Law enforcement officers are often “not ones to show emotion,” Schlernitzauer said, “but there definitely was some” Saturday.

He said the Jessamine County Sheriff’s Office has one other K9 unit in service, Batman, and a deputy was recently sent to select a dog that will be trained to work with the sheriff’s department.