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Jefferson Co. Sheriff K9 'Scout' dies during training exercise

A Jefferson County Sheriff's Office K9 has died as a result of an incident during a training exercise. (Photo courtesy Jefferson County Sheriff's Office)

A Jefferson County Sheriff's Office K9 has died as a result of an incident during a training exercise.

The sheriff's office says 6-year-old German Shepard "Scout" was doing a training exercise Thursday afternoon with eight other dogs and their handlers in Watertown. A ball used during the exercise became lodged behind Scout's teeth, severely impairing his breathing.

All handlers are trained in canine first aid and quickly attended to Scout, but Scout's airway was blocked too long for him to survive, the sheriff's office said.

Scout was donated by Riverside Kennels in Copenhagen and was trained for explosive detection, handler protection and tracking at the New York State Police K9 school in Cooperstown. Scout had been with his handler, Deputy Adam Hallett, since 2014.

"We ask our community to keep Adam in your thoughts while he grieves the sad and sudden loss of his partner," the sheriff's office said in a release.

The sheriff's office says the drill was an approved search exercise being conducted by New York State Police and the ball in question had been used many times before.

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