Dillon police dog passes

M.P. Regan
Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Dillon Police Officer Jared Rumsey heads out for duty last spring with the police dog Mac, who passed away earlier this month. M.P. Regan photo

Local law enforcement last week reported the passing of one of their own.

“Bad news,” Police Chief Don Guiberson announced to the city council during his report at the council’s May 19 meeting. “Our dog, Mac, had generative cancer and had to be put down yesterday.”

“He just went down and couldn’t be brought back, and wouldn’t eat,” said Guiberson of the young German Shepherd who joined the department only about a year ago.

“It was bladder cancer and it came quick,” added the police chief of the illness that took the male canine in what should have been the prime of his life and service to the police department.

“We got opinions from three different vets. They said he was in so much pain. So, Jared, Officer Rumsey is pretty upset,” said Guiberson of the Dillon police officer who trained Mac, partnered with him on patrols and continued to live with the dog until its recent death.

“We’re all pretty upset about it. It’s unfortunate,” said Guiberson, who did not involve himself in the decision on whether to put Mac down.

“I left that up to Jared. That was his partner.”

Mac pulled his first shift about a year ago for the Dillon Police with Rumsey, who had convinced Guiberson of the merits of adding a specially trained dog to the local police force.

“Humans have five million scent receptors; canines have 220 million. So, a canine can smell, at a minimum, 40 times better than a person can. Our goal is to be able to use Mac to help maximize our effectiveness as a department,” said Rumsey last May when Mac officially joined the local police to help investigate crimes.

“We had it on quite a few searches and stuff like that, and it did generate some arrests, misdemeanor stuff. We never found a big, huge stash or anything like that,” said Guiberson of Mac’s approximate year of service,

“We just didn’t have it long enough.”

The police chief said the pandemic also limited Mac’s effectiveness during his brief time with the department.

“Most of his time with us was under the cloud of COVID. He was a good dog. I really liked Mac,” said Guiberson, who said Mac served the department well in its outreach efforts.

“Jared used Mac a lot at the school, talking to kids,” Guiberson told the Tribune of the dog his department essentially gained for free after it was offered by an area police dog trainer, with Mac’s subsequent trainings covered by donations.

“It was a good opportunity at the time,” said Guiberson, who admitted he needed a vigorous sales pitch from Rumsey before agreeing to bring the dog to the department.

“I was really happy with it when it was here,” said Guiberson.

“I don’t think that situation will show itself again.”