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Highly Decorated Canine Laid To Rest

A beloved canine ended a decorated career in law enforcement when he was put down last week.

Greenville Sheriffs deputies say "Roscoe" was literally a life-saving partner.

Roscoe's handler says in the canine's 9 years of service, he recovered more than a dozen guns, 250 pounds of marijuana, and 20 pounds of cocaine.

But its the weight of his loss that has left a big hole in one man's heart

Master Deputy Doug Wannemacher met his first partner in 2002, "Roscoe was always part of my family."

Within two years, may have owed him his life.  Master Dep. Wannemacher, Greenville Co. Sheriff's office, "May 19, 2004 shot in line of duty, saved my life, saved other deputies lives on several other tracks."

They've barely been apart since, until last week.

Master Dep. Wannemacher, "like my Amex, never left home without him, when he was at home, part of family, once he retired from law enforcement, protected my family."

Last week, after a decorated career that included a Medal of Valor, Wannemacher made the difficult call to put Roscoe down after he lost mobility in his rear legs and was suffering mentally and physically.

"We made a pact that I'd be the only one to hurt him or have to put him down. It was a tough decision."   

Wannemacher is still the head K-9 trainer for Greenville County, "piece of me is with every dog in the sheriff's office." but says he'll never have another first partner.

"Me and Roscoe, spent more time than I did my family, that bond is unbreakable, and it's hard to see one go."

Currently there are 15 canine units out of the 400-plus sheriff's deputies.  All of them stay with their handlers at home and at work, they even command the dogs in their language depending on where they were raised.


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