K-9 Blaze collapsed just after the start of a scheduled indoor training session and died on Wednesday, Galloway Township Police have announced.
Doctors have said that based on his core temperature, his death was not heat related, Galloway Police said in a release Wednesday afternoon.
Immediately following his collapse, Blaze was taken to the Absecon Veterinary Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was the second Galloway police dog to die this year. K-9 following a brief battle with cancer.
"Having Blaze as a neigbor was a joy," Galloway Patch user Joe Keister said in comments submitted to the site late Tuesday night. "Any time I went in our back yard, if he was out he would always come to the fence to play. He will missed by all. Hang in there Scott."
Blaze was a 6-year-old German shepherd, and the partner of Officer Scott Winneberger. Blaze was involved in a number of drug detections and seizures, including one earlier this week, in which he took down a fleeing suspect from Brooklyn after the man had provided a to police.
Blaze graduated from the Atlantic County John "Sonny" Burke K-9 Academy in May of 2007 as a patrol dog. In 2008, he graduated as a scent dog trained in narcotics detection.
Winneberger and Blaze finished among the top competitors in numerous Police Dog Certification Trials. The duo had also given many demonstrations at local schools throughout Galloway Township, where they were very well known among the children.