“I am sorry that your dog got shot,” is just part of the heartfelt message that second grader Cooper Kline wrote to a Florida sheriff’s deputy after his K-9 partner was shot and killed Christmas Eve.
Cigo, a three-year-old canine officer, was shot last week while pursuing 28-year-old suspect Giovany Ramos Alvarez during an exchange of gunfire at the Wellington Green Mall. Both Alvarez and 19-year-old Justin Vasquez were taken into police custody.
The dog was pronounced dead later at an animal shelter. An outpouring of grief followed in the community.
Mall employees created a makeshift tribute in the parking lot and officials announced a memorial service in January. But it’s Kline’s display of empathy that “truly moved” the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO).
A day later, Cooper addressed a letter to a “Deputy Ryan”.
“Thank you for keeping me safe,” Kline wrote. “Thank you for your service. Your dog did a lot for the world.”
“Don’t worry you will get a new buddy. Keep up the good work,” he continued. “I will keep praying for you to do good.”
“Keep arresting the bad guys and one day I hope I can meet you and your new dog!”
In a note to police, Kline’s mother explained that her son wept when he learned of the dog’s fate and “wanted to know why someone would kill dog when ‘he is just trying to protect us.'”
The sheriff’s office said on social media that Deputy Ryan “loved” the letter. So do we, Cooper.
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