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Central Point police mourns loss of therapy dog

Central Point police K-9 Simon, a therapy dog, died unexpectedly Thursday. A memorial service honoring the dog will be held in January. [Central Point police photo]

After more than a year and a half of helping trauma victims, a Central Point police dog with a unique role at the department has passed away.

Central Point K-9 Simon, who served as a therapy dog, died unexpectedly of heart failure Thursday, according to posts on social media honoring the dog’s life from the police department and the nonprofit that trained the service animal.

“Simon brought so much to our department and will be fondly remembered,” the Central Point police post stated.

Since March of last year, the service dog worked with a victim support advocate at the police department and had helped hundreds of people — including Southern Oregonians who needed to evacuate during the Almeda and South Obenchain fires, according to Working Dogs Oregon.

“Simon was able to relieve the stress of his community no matter the situation,” the nonprofit stated, later adding that the K-9 was “a great source of mental health support to the officers and staff of the Central Point Police Department.”

Prior to becoming part of the police department, Simon was a seeing eye dog in the Portland area for five years.

The nonprofit plans to honor Simon with a memorial service in January.

Central Point police K-9 Simon, a therapy dog, died unexpectedly Thursday. A memorial service honoring the dog will be held in January. [Central Point police photo]