URBANA – The University of Illinois Police Department is mourning the sudden loss of one of its own after K9 Quinty passed this weekend — but not before he made one last drug bust.
The 10-year-old police dog had been experiencing some health issues earlier in the week. He returned to work after being checked out by a veterinarian, and police were awaiting test results.
Those health issues resurfaced early Saturday morning while Quinty was at work. He was rushed to the U. of I. College of Veterinary Medicine clinic, but nothing could be done. Quinty’s handler and his family had the opportunity to say goodbye, and several officers gathered to give Quinty a final salute.
“We are very saddened by the sudden loss, and our thoughts of course are with Quinty’s handler and his family,” said U. of I. Police Chief Jeff Christensen. “Handlers and their dogs are very close. They truly are partners, and Quinty was part of his handler's family. He was part of the UIPD family.”
Before passing, he had one last drug bust. Friday night, Quinty located a number of MDMA hits while conducting a vehicle search in Urbana.
“We’re glad Quinty got one last good night at work,” Christensen. “Their lives revolve around keeping our community safer, and they really love doing what they’re trained to do. It’s what brings them joy.”
Quinty, a Belgian Malinois, had spent eight years as the University of Illinois Police Department’s drug-sniffing dog. He spent most of those as part of its Target Response Unit, tasked with taking drugs, weapons and violent offenders off the street.
Quinty was instrumental in locating countless amounts of narcotics and other drugs throughout the Champaign-Urbana community. He worked for UIPD and regularly assisted the Champaign and Urbana police departments and the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office.
Quinty occassionally conducted sweeps of campus mailrooms, like this one on March 2.