ATHENS COUNTY, OH (WOWK) – The Athens County Sheriff’s Office has announced the passing of one of their K9 deputies.

Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith says the office is mourning after K9 Deputy Bundi, a 9-year-old German Shepard, died this morning Tuesday, June 14, 2022. Smith says Bundi died of natural causes at the home of his handler, Deputy Steve Heater.

Bundi served with the sheriff’s office since 2015.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Deputy Heater and his family as they deal with this devastating loss,” said Smith. “Bundi was a beloved member of this department and this community. Bundi was an ambassador for the department, and his loss will be felt very deeply in this community,” Sheriff Smith added.

Smith says Bundi was born in Germany in February 2013 and came to the US in 2015 where he went through 12 weeks of training at Pine Grove Kennels in Tuppers Plains. According to Smith, Bundi specialized in detecting narcotics, marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines, as well as tracking, building and area searches and apprehension.

In a Facebook post, Smith said Bundi was also beloved at parades, school functions and community meetings.