St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department mourns death of retired police dog

St. Clair County Deputy Sheriff Michael Pink said retired police dog Fist, who was euthanized on Wednesday, was a sociable and affectionate dog with a great work ethic.

Fist served with Pink in the Sheriff’s Department from March 2010 to January 2016, and served with Pink as a manager from 2011. He retired to live with Pink and her family.

St. Clair County Sheriff Mat King said Fist first served with the sheriff’s first and only interdiction team, which intercepted narcotics traveling through the county. He then moved on to a patrol dog, where he had additional responsibilities, such as searching for missing people or fleeing suspects.

“(Fist) came to work every day ready to work,” King said.

Pink said Fist used his strong sense of smell to search for anything from planes to boats.

“He had the ability to do things better, faster, or even things we couldn’t do at all,” Pink said.

Pink said the most rewarding missions are when Fist helps locate a missing person because they are making a difference in someone’s life.

Pink said Fist was hardworking, but also sociable and awkward. During briefings, Fist liked to greet each deputy the same way colleagues say hello to each other in the morning.

“He had this adorable, goofy side that people could relate to,” Pink said.

St. Clair County Sheriff's Police Dog Fist

Even in retirement, Pink said Fist was protecting Pink’s family. Fist has got into the habit of watching passers-by from their homes.

Fist was euthanized on Wednesday at the age of 14 due to persistent health issues.

Pink said it had been difficult to lose a dog who worked alongside her every day and went through the same things he did. Fist was also part of his family after spending five years in retirement.

“He was my partner, he was someone who came to work with me every day,” said Pink.

St. Clair County Sheriff's Police Dog Fist with his handler, Deputy K9 Michael Pink.

Fist was Pink’s first police dog and helped restart the program after a hiatus of several years. Pink named her current dog Faust, Fist in German, as a nod to the dog that started it all.

After reading the outpouring of love and support on the Sheriff’s Facebook post announcing Fist’s death, it’s heartwarming to know that Fist has made an impact on people’s lives, Pink said.

“He was just a huge part of everyone’s life,” Pink said.

Contact Laura Fitzgerald at (810) 941-7072 or [email protected]

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