Retired Hero Police Dog Passes Away

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Photo Credit: Chris Polydoroff, Pioneer Press

Major was a K-9 who time and time again put his life on the line and served heroically. In November of 2010 his career came to an end when on duty he was stabbed leading him to be paralyzed in his hind legs. Major went on to live his life in retirement with the help of a wheeled sling and his former partner. This week Major‘s health had deteriorated to a point where it was time for his partner to let him go.

For eight years Major served with the Roseville police. “He was a tough dog…He caught a lot of bad guys and made a strong name for himself and I was lucky and honored to have him as a partner,” said Major’s partner John Jorgensen. On November 12, 2010 Major’s career ended when a burglar stabbed him repeatedly. The stabbing left Major paralyzed in his hind legs.

The man responsible for the stabbing, Roel Joseph Perez Jr., was sentenced to 120 days in jail. Jorgensen was not satisfied with the punishment and wanted harsher penalties for those convicted of assaulting police dogs. Jorgensen helped make that a reality and in 2011 Governor Mark Dayton signed legislation that made any assault resulting in substantial harm to a police K-9 a felony.

Major continued to live a full life in retirement. He had a wheeled sling to help him get around and got to spend his retirement with his partner Jorgensen and his family. For over two years Major enjoyed life as a pet. Recently though Major’s health started to deteriorate and Jorgensen knew it was time to say goodbye to his longtime friend and partner. “I promised myself and I promised him that we would make that decision if his quality of life deteriorated to the point where he was too weak and he didn’t have the same happiness,” Jorgensen said. “It was just time.”

Jorgensen spent Major’s final day driving him around to all of the places they used to patrol together. They stopped at McDonald’s and Dairy Queen for Major’s final meal. Then it was time to say goodbye and Major was taken to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center. “I miss him terribly,” said Jorgensen. “But I think he is in a better spot. He is probably chasing down bad guys on four good legs now.”

Major’s death isn’t just emotional for Jorgensen, but the entire Roseville Police Department. “They were great crime fighters,” Lt. Lorne Rosand said of Major and Jorgensen. “They did a lot of wonderful things for our agency and for the citizens of Roseville.” Jorgensen continues to work on the K9 team with his new dog, Otis. “I always say if Otis ends up being half the police dog Major was, he will be phenomenal,” said Jorgensen.