The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is mourning beloved K9 Officer Rex

Garfield County Sheriff’s K9 Officer Rex holds his favorite toy during Thursday’s retirement ceremony in Rifle.
Taylor Cramer/Post Independent

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office said a fond farewell to one of its most valued members, K9 Officer Rex, who was euthanized on Friday due to complications from bone cancer. Rex, who was an essential part of the unit, was believed to be around eight years old and from Slovakia. Its exact age remains uncertain after its import documents were lost.

“It’s something we all have to deal with as caregivers. We know it’s coming; It just came sooner than we expected,” Sgt. – said Thomas Moser. “He is an important part of this department and we will miss him, but it’s time.”

Moser, Rex’s guardian, had been by his side throughout his service and was deeply affected by his demise.

“I thought I would spend another year or two with him,” he said, emphasizing the suddenness of Rex’s deterioration.

During his tenure, Rex was a formidable force against crime, participating in approximately 165 drug deployments and approximately 35 patrol operations. These efforts resulted in approximately 50 arrests, demonstrating his effectiveness in law enforcement activities.

One notable event in Rex’s career occurred when he was attacked by an assailant with a knife in a river, resulting in him being permanently “cauliflower ear”. Despite his injuries, Rex maintained his fun spirit and continued to serve.

“He is both a fool and a junkyard dog,” Moser recalled fondly.

During Thursday’s memorial service, Garfield County Sheriff’s Sergeant Thomas Moser and Rex play tug with Rex’s favorite toy.
Taylor Cramer/Post Independent

In addition to his law enforcement duties, Rex had a beloved toy, a pineapple, which he treasured as his “pacifier”. This toy accompanied him on walks and was a constant source of comfort.

“He likes to carry it with him wherever he goes,” Moser said, detailing how Rex buried it in the snow and happily dug it out many times during the winter months.

Rex’s battle with cancer began last October when it first appeared between his toes. After having one of his fingers removed in November, his caretakers were hopeful that he would recover. However, the cancer returned aggressively, affecting other areas of his paw.

“She seems to be really aggressive and has even gotten a little bit worse in the last three or four days,” Moser explained, noting the rapid progression of the disease and the serious impact on Rex’s quality of life.

Cpl. Trisha Worley also shared her emotions about Rex’s death.

“It’s heartbreaking. We are a big family and we spend a lot of time together,” she said, emphasizing the close-knit nature of the K9 unit.

She described Rex as “full of character” and noted how he balanced his caring instincts with a bubbly personality that endeared him to everyone.

“He knows when it’s time to work and he knows when he can get some rest,” she said. “He’s the kind of character that brightens your day every time you see him.”

During Thursday’s farewell meeting at the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office in Rifle, Rex showed that character by constantly finding his way to the pulled pork and ribs prepared for his farewell despite the complications.

He was more than a police dog at home – he was a valued member of the Moser family.

“He is definitely a different dog at home. He’s a lot more relaxed,” Moser said. He described how Rex was especially calm in the presence of his wife and enjoyed the gentle company of other family animals, including a barn cat, with whom he shared a special bond during the colder months.

“It won’t be the same without him,” Moser said. “He was there for me and made sure I came home every night for the last five years. He was my best friend.”

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