Published 3:20 pm Friday, December 15, 2017
Both law enforcement officers and other concerned friends of one fallen K9 officer gathered together to say their goodbyes to the former police dog on Thursday.
“Most people only see him as a dog, but they don’t understand how much time is truly spent between a handler and his K9. Kane stayed by my side 24/7, so he wasn’t only a dog to me, but a part of my family. I didn’t call him my partner, I called him my son,” said James Taulbee regarding his former K9 partner, Kane.
Kane was hit by oncoming traffic following a successful drug finding on Dec. 3. He was immediately rushed to the animal hospital, but the incident tragically left the canine dead upon arrival. A memorial honoring both his services among the unit as well as his loving relationship with the Taulbee family was held at the Brooks Durham Funeral Home in Pineville on Thursday.
The loss of Kane struck hard, not only for his fellow officers, but for anyone who understands the significance of K9 officers and all of the services they perform for the department. Because of this, countless law enforcement agencies and citizens throughout the state have reached out to the department to offer condolences during this grieving period.
“The amount of cards, phone calls and emails we’ve received from law enforcement agencies and citizens across the United States is unbelievable,” said Bell County Sheriff Mitch Williams. “It means a great deal and we appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.”
During the ceremony, words of commemoration were given by both Williams and Bell County Attorney Neil Ward, as they shared poems — such as “Just A Dog” — in Kane’s memory, and reflected upon the reputable services Kane and Taulbee have provided for the county.
“Both Kane and Taulbee have served the Bell County Sheriff’s Office, the citizens of Bell County and other law enforcement agencies with distinction,” said Williams. “Kane did his part as a K9 officer in a distinguished fashion, and he set a standard that we can forever strive to achieve or exceed each and every day from this day forward.”
Although he was rather new to the profession, beginning his work for the Bell County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 20 of this year, Kane had already found quite a bit of success in his newly-found position, proving the promise he held as well as the overall importance of K9 officers. During his short time on the force, he conducted several school searches, assisted on search warrants and made numerous drug findings, including a significant methamphetamine find just moments prior to his death.
While police dogs only date back as far as 1980, they have proven to play a huge role among police departments throughout the world. Back in 2009, a special monument commemorating each fallen service dog throughout the state was opened in Bell County, and Kane’s name will soon be added to this commemoration.
Along with this, the Bell County Sheriff’s Office plans to honor Kane’s memory by continuing the K9 program, using his eminent standard as a goal for all future K9 officers.
“This isn’t the end. This loss has been very devastating for both my family and myself, but the reality of the situation is that I’m still a K9 unit and I have to continue with my work,” said Taulbee. “I’ll take everything that Kane has taught me, reflect on it and learn and become better from it.”
Anyone wishing to pay their respects to Kane is welcome to visit the Bell County Courthouse, where his urn will be displayed for a short time before finally being returned to Taulbee and his family.