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Converse County Residents Mourn Loss Of Beloved K-9 Officer Trigger

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By Jennifer Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd Thursday when Converse County Sheriff’s K-9 Officer Trigger received his final call.

Residents from across the county, including dozens of children, stood with law enforcement officers as deputies carried the canine’s flag-draped casket out of the veterinarian’s office where Trigger had died from cancer.  

The beloved K-9 will be greatly missed, Cpl. Mark Dexter, Trigger’s handler, said Tuesday.

And the loss will be as keenly felt by Trigger’s law enforcement family as it will by members of the community who helped bring him to Douglas.



Trigger has been with the department since April 2014, after CCSO presented the idea of starting a K-9 unit. The department didn’t have funding for the program, Dexter said, so it reached out to the community for donations.

The response was overwhelming. 

“Within a couple weeks, we had way more than I ever needed for the canine program donated to us,” he said. “From parents that gave us their last $5 for the month all the way up to big businesses that donated thousands of dollars. It was pretty amazing.”

In total, he thinks somewhere around $50,000 was donated. Enough for Dexter, who was chosen by the department to be the handler for the new program, to bring an 18-month-old Belgian Malinois back to Douglas. 

It was local elementary school children who chose the name Trigger and they received frequent visits from the dog at school assemblies and community events throughout his career.

The community’s generosity didn’t end there. Over the last several years, the donations continued to pour in, from checks from residents and businesses made out to Trigger to free food, heavily discounted vet bills, grooming and more. 

He was definitely the community’s K-9, and with good reason. 

Trigger earned his keep. 



With an ability to detect up to five different drug odors, Trigger was dispatched anywhere from 100 to 150 times per year. 

Dexter has no idea how many pounds of drugs Trigger took off the streets during his career. He estimated Dexter was responsible for the seizure of $500,000 to $1 million worth of drugs each year.

“Not bad for one dog,” Dexter said.

The two spent a lot of time training, Dexter said, and were constant companions, with Trigger living with in the family’s heated garage.

Trigger wasn’t given treats or even allowed to come inside until the last weeks of his life this fall, when his cancer grew increasingly worse. That’s when all of the rules went out the door as Dexter’s wife Tanisha and children fed him plenty of dog snacks which, as it turned out, Trigger quite liked.

Along with his family and the community, the sheriff’s department is taking Trigger’s loss hard. He was like a partner, Dexter said. The pair spent a lot of time together, and Dexter said he shared a lot of secrets with his partner.

For now, Dexter is waiting until the new year before he starts looking around for a new K-9. He wants to take a little time to let everyone grieve and get through the holidays. 

“He was a good dog,” he said. 

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Green River Fire Department Rescues Rottweiler From Freezing Green River

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Five firefighters from the Green River Fire Department responded to a call at Electrocutioner Falls on Tuesday to help a female Rottweiler dog that was unable to get out of the water.

“Upon arrival the dog was pretty well spent and did not have much longer before she would have been overcome by exhaustion and hypothermia,” one firefighter said.

The department said Lt. Brandon Brady crawled out to the dog, grabbed the dog from the water, and then was pulled to shore by other firefighters.

Once they were able to safely get the dog out of the water she was transported to a vet by Green River Animal Control.

The incident was reported by operators at the power plant intake facility.

Other local agencies involved with this call were; Castle Rock Ambulance, Green River Police Department, Green River Animal Control, and Green River Fire Department.

According to Asst. Chief Larry Erdmann, the dog has been picked up by her owners and is doing very well.

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Elderly Dog Rejected By Families Became Beloved Mascot at Animal Shelter

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

Every organization needs a face – that special someone who embodies the spirit and mission of the people who work toward a brighter future. For the Park County Animal Shelter, that face was an elderly white pit bull named Skillet.

Skillet, who passed away last weekend at the age of 13, had been rejected by families twice before becoming a permanent resident of the Park County Animal Shelter in 2017 – the same year he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. 

Executive Director Megan McLean said the shelter decided to keep him as its mascot in order to give him the best life possible.

“Instead of trying to adopt him out for the rest of his life and have him face rejection, because he had been failed so many times before by previous adopters – we didn’t want that for him,” she explained.

Skillet was so popular at the shelter that the staff there decided to put together a “bucket list” for the dog – experiences such as a ride in a fire truck, a trip to Yellowstone National Park, and an appearance in the Cody’s Fourth of July parade.

“It was hard to not fall in love with Skillet,” McLean said. “And so, once people started interacting with him, and they developed that rapport with him, they wanted to follow his story and they wanted to contribute to our project and to our work here.” 

About the time that Skillet became a permanent resident, shelter officials had begun a major fundraising campaign to replace their dangerously dilapidated building. 

McLean observed that media attention to Skillet’s bucket list helped to raise the profile of the animal shelter during the fundraising for the new building, which was necessary because the existing building has mold in the walls and not enough space to safely quarantine sick animals, among other problems. 

“Skillet became a permanent resident of the shelter right around the time that our fundraising campaign really picked up speed,” McLean noted, “and so he really drove that home for us.”

But mostly, Megan saw Skillet as a unifying force in a tumultuous year.

“It was more like Skillet was everybody’s dog – everybody sort of felt a connection to him,” she said. “He really brought the community together.

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Thanksgiving Lefovers: Be Careful What You Feed Your Dog

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Now that Thanksgiving is over, if you are like many (like Dave Simpson), you have a lot of leftovers.

As dog-lovers (we like cats too), we wanted to remind you that — although it’s tempting to share your Thanksgiving feast with your doggo — it can also be dangerous for them.

To that end, we went to our friends at the American Kennel Club and the ASPCA to see what dogs can and cannot handle over the Thanksgiving holiday.

My veterinarian advises not giving them any special food at all. Her regular dog food is enough and she’ll be happy.

But if you can’t resist sharing your bounty, consider the following:

Do NOT let your dog have any of these foods:

Turkey bones, skin, and gravy
Stuffing
Casseroles
Mashed potatoes
Creamed peas
Chocolate, cookies, pies, and sweets (especially anything containing xylitol)
Alcoholic beverages
Raisins and grapes
Onions, scallions, and garlic
Ham
Yeast dough
Fatty foods
Foods containing spices

And it’s not because they are being a Scrooge (to mix holidays), it’s because there are unsafe and unhealthy ingredients in these food items.

What is safe to eat? The American Kennel Club lists the following:

Sweet potatoes are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. Just remember not to give your pet sweet potatoes containing any added ingredients.

Potatoes. You get to enjoy both kinds of potatoes, and your dog can have that option, too. However, give only boiled or baked potatoes with no butter, sour cream, salt, or pepper, and serve in moderation.

Apples. Full of vitamins A and C and contain lots of great fiber, making them a healthy Thanksgiving treat for your pet. But be sure to cut around the core, as large amounts of apple seeds can be toxic.

Turkey meat (no bones, no skin). For those that wonder if dogs can eat turkey at Thanksgiving, the answer is yes. The main dish is okay to offer up as long as it has not been prepared with any seasoning. However, do not feed your dog any skin. The outer layer is likely to have been prepared with butter, spices, or other fatty ingredients that may cause pancreatitis or other issues for your dog.

Green beans. But the bean dish should be plain — without any added ingredients like butter or spices.

Plain peas are a fine choice, but creamed peas should be avoided. Fattier food items like this that may upset your dog’s stomach.

Pumpkin. Pumpkin helps with digestive health and it’s great for a dog’s skin and coat. Also, if feeding canned pumpkin, make sure it’s just pumpkin and not the pre-spiced pie mix.

Enjoy the weekend!

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Dog Who Attacked Cheyenne Boy Euthanized

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A dog that recently attacked a six-year-old Cheyenne boy was euthanized, according to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter.

Bridger Walker, 6, stood between his little sister and a charging dog on July 9. He was bitten “several times” on the face and head, but managed to grab his sister’s hand and run away with her to keep her safe.

In a post to the shelter’s Facebook page, the shelter said that Cheyenne Animal Control investigated the incident, as is the case for all animal bites in the city and Laramie County.

At the dog owner’s request, the animal shelter provided humane end-of-life services to the dog.

“It is always both terrifying and sad when these situations occur,” Sue Castaneda, CEO of the shelter, said in the statement. “Our hearts got out to the boy and his family as well as to the pet owners.”

It wasn’t clear what type of dog attacked the boy, who received 90 stitches afterwards.

His aunt, Nicole Walker, posted about the incident on her Instagram account, trying to get the boy recognized by the actors playing Marvel superheroes. Chris Evans, who played Captain America in his own series of films and “The Avengers” series, is gifting one of his shields to the boy for his heroism.

“Pal, you are a hero,” Evans said in a video response.  “What you did was so brave, so selfless, your sister is lucky to have you as a big brother.”

Walker noted in her original Instagram post that the dog’s owners were “great people who have been nothing but kind to Bridger and his family” and that the Walker family felt no resentment toward them. Instead, there had “only been an increase of love between our families as a result of this incident.”

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Good News: Sublette County Heroes Save Dog Who Fell Through Ice on Lake

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SCSO Deputy rescues stranded dog in Fremont Lake 3-31-20

(Pinedale, Wyo –April 2nd, 2020) SCSO Deputy rescues stranded dog in Fremont Lake.Tuesday, March 31st at approximately 1:15pm, Sublette County Dispatch received a call of a dog who had fallen through the ice into Fremont Lake just outside of Pinedale. Sublette County Deputies, Wyoming Highway Patrol and Tip Top Search and Rescue responded immediately to assist.Once on scene responders found the dog approximately 40 yards off shore and the dog holding onto the edge of the ice in a hole approximately 10 foot across. According to the reporting party the dog had been in the water approximately 30 minutes. Deputy Morgan approached the dog with caution and was able to crawl across the ice to the dog. He was then able to successfully pull the dog safely out of the water without incident.The dog was very happy to be free from the cold water and was returned to its owner who was anxiously awaiting on shore.###Sergeant Travis BinghamPublic Information OfficerSublette County Sheriff's Office35 1/2 S. Tyler Ave, PO Box 701Pinedale, WY 82941tbingham@subso.comOffice 307.367.5236Cell 307-360-7737

Posted by Sublette County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, April 2, 2020

We’ll take this story every single day.

A dog fell through some ice on Fremont Lake just outside of Pinedale on Monday.

Authorities were notified and the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office, Wyoming Highway Patrol and Tip Top Search and Rescue responded to save the dog.

According to the sheriff’s office, the dog was about 40 yards offshore and holding onto the edge of the ice in a hole approximately 10 feet across.

The sheriff’s office reported that the dog had been in the water approximately 30 minutes.

Sublette County Sheriff’s Deputy Todd Morgan approached with caution and was able to crawl across the ice to the dog. He was then able to successfully pull the dog safely out of the water without incident.

“The dog was very happy to be free from the cold water and was returned to its owner who was anxiously awaiting on shore,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post.

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