Columbia County K9 dies of ‘heat-related injury’

K9 Drago (Provided by Columbia County Sheriff's Office)

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. – Columbia County K9 Drago died Tuesday after suffering a “heat-related injury” during a training exercise, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Drago had served with the Sheriff’s Office since November 2017.

“It really hurts to lose a member of the CCSO family,” Sheriff Mark Hunter said in a statement. “Drago was one of our most senior K9 deputies and his loss will be felt within our K9 program and our CCSO family.”

The Sheriff’s Office said Drago and his handler were on the training exercise Tuesday when Drago suffered a “heat-related injury” and was immediately taken to a vet for treatment. The Sheriff’s Office did not specify what the heat-related injury was or how it occurred.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Drago was stabilized and began to show signs of recovery, so he was released to go home with his handler.

But when his handler was checking on him throughout the evening, they discovered Drago had died, the Sheriff’s Office said.

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.