ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A St. Johns County Sheriff K-9 that passed away last month is being honored. After her seven years of service, veteran K-9 Invey lost her battle with cancer.
Invey was honored at her funeral Saturday, as her handler gave her a final salute at the Jacksonville Pet Funeral Home and Memorial Park.
Before she trained K-9 Hope, Deputy Melanie Merritt worked with K-9 Invey by her side.
"It was very hard to get back into the car without Invey and just Hope," Merritt said. "Hope cried the first day without Invey."
Invey was honored Saturday for her service and commitment, working until the day she passed away.
"Because of that drive and motivation and determination that she has, she's found several missing people, several criminals that ran," Merritt said. "She saved several lives."
"Being smart and independent is what I remember about her," said Sgt. Emmett Merritt, Melanie Merritt's husband. "Great work as far as finding people. I mean, she's one of the best."
Sgt. Emmett Merritt trains K-9s for the Putnam County Sheriff's Office. He said his wife and Invey were almost inseparable, even when the K-9's health started degrading.
"I've had retired dogs but they don't understand if you leave without them," Emmett Merritt said. "If you get a new partner, they will always be at the door, or at their kennel or at the gate, wanting to get in the car 'cause that's all they know and they want to be with you."
The funeral home has added a memorial marker for Invey, so in the moments when the Merritts miss her, they have a place to come to honor one of their best bloodhound friends.
Invey was the fifth St. Johns County Sheriff K-9 added to the memorial. The markers along with the memorial statue are open to the public to visit.