People from all over the world have been touched by the death of Kye, an Oklahoma City police dog who died Monday as a result of injuries he suffered while being stabbed in the line of duty.
The Oklahoma City Police Department has received an outpouring of support in the wake of Kye’s death, officers said. People from other states and even other countries have offered their sympathies, and a post on the police department’s Facebook page announcing Kye’s death had reached more than 4 million people as of Wednesday afternoon, police said.
A woman from Belgium sent photos of Kye when he was a puppy, which the police department posted on Facebook. Another woman sent a photo of Kye posing with her young son.
“We greatly appreciate all of the support and well wishes from around the world in this time of loss,” Oklahoma City police Capt. Dexter Nelson wrote in an email. “We apologize that we are simply unable to respond to everyone. Messages are being forwarded to the OCPD K-9 Unit.”
Kye, a 3-year-old German shepherd, died Monday after being stabbed multiple times Sunday night by a man who led authorities on a pursuit that ended near the Goldsby exit on Interstate 35, police said. The man, Mark Salazar, 22, of Blue Mound, Texas, was fatally shot by Kye’s handler, K-9 Sgt. Ryan Stark, police said.
Stark has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of standard criminal and administrative investigations by the police department.
Services for Kye were held Thursday at First Southern Baptist Church, 6400 S Sooner Road. The service was be conducted with full police honors.
Kye joined the Oklahoma City Police Department in July 2012, and hit the streets with Stark in October 2012, according to a tribute video posted on the police department’s Facebook page. He was responsible for 55 apprehensions, which included the recovery of 250 grams of methamphetamine, 17 grams of cocaine and 92 grams of marijuana, police said. He also helped to locate numerous missing persons. In addition to his patrol duties, Kye was a member of the Police Tactical Unit.
Nelson wrote in his email that the Oklahoma City Police Department cannot accept cash donations in response to Kye’s death. The department’s K-9 Unit is asking that people who would like to make donations do so to smaller police departments in the state that may be able to accept donations or to K-9 search and rescue, service animal or comfort dog organizations. People should check the legitimacy of any organization they choose to donate to, police said.
Anyone wishing to send flowers can send them to the First Southern Baptist Church, 6400 S Sooner Road, Oklahoma City, OK 73135. Cards and other correspondence can be sent to police headquarters, 701 Colcord Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.