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Beloved Midland PD K9 officer passes away, but won't be forgotten

9-year-old Jango was a force on the MPD unit, catching nearly 30 dangerous suspects and saving countless lives.

MIDLAND, Texas — They say dogs are man's best friend… but this dog, however, was the city's best friend. 

"When we saw Jango, we couldn't really tell what kind of dog he was initially," Midland Police Sergeant Jake Owens said. "He kind of had this crazy look in his eye. He was unlike all the rest of the dogs from the pool that we had. [He] picked one guy out there was wearing a bite suit and he just stared at him and just started drooling and I was like this dog's either crazy or he's gonna be pretty awesome."

Jango was a 9-year-old K9 officer who spent most of his life with Midland Police Department, serving faithfully, up until his last day.

Unfortunately, Jango was diagnosed with cancer, and passed away over the weekend.

The Midland Police Department is mourning the loss of K9 Officer Jango. He came was diagnosed with cancer & had to be...

Posted by Midland Police Department on Monday, October 17, 2022

"When we got the news," Owens, the carrier of Jango, said. "I mean this was sudden, this was six days ago that we had discovered that he had been, you know, sick with cancer and this was inoperable. And, you know, just by the look on the vet's face like this is not good. That's hard. I can't remember the last time we've had a canine working for our department that has succumb to something like this."

Owens had high praise for the good boy.

"As his handler, and I'm speaking for me and Sargent Welch as well on this one," Owens mentioned his other carrier. "Jango was probably one of the best canines, in my opinion, in the history of this department since this program started in the late 70s, early 80s. [...] Jango was a very well-rounded dog. He was 100% on everything he did, whether it be tracking, finding people, finding things, articles. He liked to do anything and everything. Which is rare."

Jango was the epitome of a hard worker.

"The best quality of Jango was the fact that he can do it all he loved to do it all and he gave 110% in everything he did," Owens said.

And even as Jango battled for his life, he gave 110%.

"It was even up to his last moment," Owens said. "That dog was still showing love and support for me even though I was emotionally and, you know, getting ready to mourn for him. And he could tell something was wrong. But, you know, with him hurting as much as he was and as much pain as he was in, he was still there for me, and I'm not the one dying. So that was that's a hero. That's something I look up to."

Jango lived an incredible life, not just for a dog, but for anyone. He caught nearly 30 dangerous suspects, saved hundreds of lives, and did all that with a smile on his adorable face. It is safe to say, he was more than just man’s best friend.

"So a lot of people think you know, like man's best friend," Owens said. "That's kind of a mundane statement, I think and I think a lot of the other canine handlers all over can relate to that. You know, we're in those cars with those dogs working with those dogs 40 plus hours a week. You know, blood, sweat and tears go into that and that goes both ways. And then you have to go home, take your vest off, take the collar off and adjust to family life. That's tough on those dogs. It's tough on us. You're spending with those animals in our own families. So when you lose one... it's hard. You know, I've had pets growing up yeah, I've shed tears over them. But I'm very thankful for the time that I've had with him. I'm blessed to have such a great partner over the years.

It's safe to say Jango wasn't just a good boy, even a great boy, Jango was an INCREDIBLE boy, and will be remembered far beyond his years walking the streets of Midland and telling his enemies to sit and lie down.

"And those out there who knew him on a personal level," Owens said. "They're mourning it's- it's a big loss and for a dog to have that type of impact on people. That says a lot for his character."

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