Jerry Lee worked with Officer Todd Jackson for three and a half years, Jackson said, and worked in narcotics detection and in various safety demonstrations on the KSU campus.
While Jackson was out of town last weekend, members of the police department noticed that Jerry Lee was “not acting like himself.” An examination discovered that the dog’s stomach had flipped, Jackson said.
Jerry Lee underwent surgery on Monday to fix his stomach, which ultimately failed, and Jerry Lee died Monday, Jackson said.
Jackson said the loss of his teammate was devastating, and was “like losing one of our own” police officers.
Jerry Lee was memorialized at a service Friday afternoon in the KSU Student Center, where members of the Cobb County Police, Marietta Police, Acworth Police, Georgia Tech Police, Austell Police and Cobb County Sheriff’s Office were in attendance, as well as KSU students, Jackson said, although he could not estimate how many people were there.
“The bond that we had between handler and dog is something that only a handler knows,” Jackson said, as he recalled how Jerry Lee communicated with him in the police car.
Jerry Lee used to shake his collar against the kennel in the back of the police car, Jackson said, which meant that he wanted to be petted.
Jerry Lee, a German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois mix, was cremated at Dream Land Pet Memorial Center in Acworth, and half of his ashes were spread over the KSU campus on Friday, while Jackson will keep the other half.