Pineville, KY - Bell County K9 Kane was killed when he was struck by a car on Sunday night, Dec. 2.
The incident occurred on U.S. 25 on the Knox-Bell County line during a traffic stop. K9 Kane and his handler, Bell County Deputy James Taulbee, were assisting the Kentucky State Police on a search of the vehicle, according to Bell County Sheriff Mitch Williams.
"Kane gave a positive alert on the vehicle, indicating a controlled substance was inside," according to Sheriff Williams.
When Deputy Taulbee tried to give K9 Kane his reward ball for making the find, the ball bounced off the dog and rolled into traffic, according to WKYT. K9 Kane bolted after the ball and a car hit him. He died en route to an animal hospital.
The vehicle was searched after K9 Kane alerted, and the driver of the vehicle, Ramero Norris, was arrested after several baggies with a clear rock substance and other drug items were found.
Sheriff Williams said that his department was "devastated" about the loss of K9 Kane. He said “We’re naturally going through a grieving process. We grieve for the K-9 unit because we build a bond with it. The bond between a K9 handler and his dog is beyond what we can comprehend.”
He said, "As a department we are devastated. Officer Kane played a vital role in serving our community and will be sorely missed."
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bell County Sheriff's Office and handler Officer James Taulbee in their loss.