SEEKONK, Mass. — The death of Massachusetts State Police K9 Frankie is sending a wave of sadness through the police K9 community.
Frankie was helping his handler apprehend a fugitive in Fitchburg Tuesday when he was shot and killed.
Frankie is the first State Police K9 killed in the line of duty.
“Every time I I heard about a K9 falling in the line of duty, it literally takes a piece of my heart,” said Jim Lamonte, a Seekonk K9 Behaviorist.
“It’s a reminder every single time something like that happens, how much they are willing to give for us.”
What happened to K9 Frankie is rare, but K9′s do get injured in the line of duty, and many times those K9′s suffer post traumatic stress syndrome.
Jim Lamonte is the founder of the K9 PTSD Center.
Here, at his home, Jim is caring for ten police K9′s who suffered some kind of trauma and could no longer do their jobs.
“These dogs that come here, without the assistance of this center, would have been euthanized,” Lamonte said.
During our visit, K9 Keto had some play time in the backyard pool, located just steps away from his executive kennel.
K9 Keto was an Officer for the Manchester By The Sea Police Department and photos from K9 Keto’s past life hang on the wall of his kennel.
Every day, Jim works with K9 Keto and his nine other dogs, all of them on the long path to healing,
“Their will to live is over. It feels hopeless, you can see it in their eyes,” Lamonte said about dogs when they first arrive at his center. “And then over a period of time, watching that light turn back on…it’s absolutely the most beautiful feeling you will ever experience in this world.”
Each of Jim’s dogs spent most of their lives protecting and serving us.
Now, in Seekonk, Jim is repaying that loyalty.
“It’s my way of saying thank you to them,” Lamonte said.
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