K9 Officer Down: Barney The Drug Dog Dies After Accidentally Inhaling Meth

A K9 officer in Tacoma, Washington, has lost the fight for his life after accidentally inhaling methamphetamine in a bust that resulted in three arrests and produced 44 pounds of the narcotic.

Barney was a black labrador mix who served the Tacoma Police Department prior to his death. A report from the News Tribune as early as 18 hours ago pegged the animal as “recovering,” but sources close to the situation have just revealed that the K9 officer took a turn for the worst.

The dog “suffered seizures and his body temperature shot up to 109 degrees” after accidentally inhaling meth at a storage facility.

Police arrested three men: Samuel Tafolla Hernandez, 39, and Thomas Servantes Diaz (pictured above), 34, who are being charged with drug possession with intent to deliver. (Diaz will also be facing a charge of unlawful gun possession.)

The third man, Jose Mauricio Loranzo-Miranda, is being charged with unlawful drug possession.

Barney’s handler, Henry Betts, was the one who noticed drug residue on the dog’s nose. In comments prior to Thursday’s announcement that Barney had died, Betts said he was “a phenomenal dog… Really just incredible.”

Barney, a K9 officer for the department since 2010, was 11-years-old.

He is survived by partners Sam and Oscar.

K9 cops like Barney are seen as a tremendous addition to any police force, and it’s not unusual for their human counterparts to feel intense loss when something like this happens, as evidenced by a recent story the Inquisitr ran on “Judge” the police dog, who received a hero’s farewell when his terminal illness necessitated euthanasia.

The officers gave Judge one final salute that quickly went viral. You can check that image out below.

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But in Judge’s case, he didn’t fall victim to any on-the-job dangers as Barney did. Regarding the death of Barney, do you think that causing harm to a K9 officer should bring with it a special set of charges? How do you think the suspects, if found guilty, should be punished for what happened here?