Retirement ceremony for police dog Dax set for Wednesday

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office will hold a retirement ceremony Wednesday for Dax, the nationally acclaimed police dog who suffered a career-ending injury while capturing a suspected car thief last month.

The public is invited the attend the event, set for 11 a.m. at the sheriff’s patrol division facility, 1301 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Libertyville. The ceremony will be held outdoors.

A 9-year-old German shepherd, Dax joined the sheriff’s office in 2015 and racked up an impressive list of accomplishments during his service. Along with his partner, Deputy John Forlenza, he’s located more than 400 missing endangered people or fleeing felons, seized hundreds of kilos of illegal drugs and millions of dollars of ill-gotten cash, and dozens of firearms discarded by offenders, officials said.

He’s also earned numerous awards, won national and regional police dog competitions, and appeared several times on national television programs.

Sheriff’s officials say Dax suffered serious neck and back injuries March 3 while tracking down a car-theft suspect who had fled into a wooded area near Zion. Though he’s expected to recover, veterinarians recommended that Dax no longer serve on active duty.

Dax will continue to live with Forlenza and his family.

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