Lynnwood police mourn loss of skilled dog

LYNNWOOD — Vader had a knack for sniffing out crime.

His stat sheet was remarkable.

The Lynnwood police dog helped track down 150 crooks over the years.

He traced illegal drugs 25 times. He found $63,858 in cash.

Lynnwood police are mourning the death of one of their top dogs. Vader, 7, died recently after a sudden medical emergency, Lynnwood police spokeswoman Shannon Sessions said Thursday evening.

“It may sound odd, but to me Vader was more than a dog. He was the eyes in the back of my head, my ‘Spidey-sense,’ my guardian,” his handler, Lynnwood officer Curtis Zatylny said.

The police dog was a master-level tracker, cross trained for sniffing out drugs in Lynnwood and all over Snohomish County.

Lynnwood Sgt. David Byrd, the supervisor of the department’s police dog unit, said Vader had an excellent reputation for his skills and was unique in how social he was with people of all ages.

“He was a great partner, he loved my family, and he was a good friend,” Zatylny said. “I will never forget him.”

Vader was part of the Lynnwood Police Department’s four-team police dog unit. The unit plans to try to find a replacement for Vader.

The Lynnwood Police Officers Association has a non-profit fund set aside for its dog team. Donations can be made to “LPOA,” attention Lynnwood K9 Unit.

The three other police dogs and their handlers are “Buddy” whose partner is Officer Cole Langdon, “Eli,” whose partner is Officer Jake Shorthill and “Zando,” whose partner is Officer Joe Dickinson.

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