K9 “Titus” Retires and new K9 comes to Oceano Dunes

Story from: Christopher Hendricks, Oceano Dunes District

In October of 2013, I traveled to Menlo Park, CA to pick up my new partner. I looked at several potential prospects and narrowed it down to one. Uro Favory Cross (a.k.a. Titus). He was an all-black German shepherd who made an immediate impression upon me in our first meeting. He was social, confident and ready to work. He was a serious K9 but was also a sucker for belly rubs. For those who knew him best he was a big softy with a bigger heart. I had the honor and privilege of working with Titus for almost 5 years. He was a good K9 from the beginning and only got better with time, strong bonding and street experience. He was intelligent, strong, loyal and courageous. I cannot count how many times he kept me safe and protected the officers he worked with. He was my partner, my friend and my family.

Oceano Dunes District Titus Retires
K9 Titus retires from Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. Photo by Lance Fischer, Office of Emergency Services.

Titus’ Career Statistics

  • Assist to other Agencies (AOAs): 154 (Pismo Beach PD, Arroyo Grande PD, Grover Beach PD, San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office, San Luis Obispo PD, Fish and Wildlife, Coast Guard, Lompoc Federal Prison and many other local and federal agencies)
  • Felony & Misd. Arrests with K9 as primary use of force (deterrent or apprehension): 54
  • Felony Arrests with K9 detection for narcotics: 23
  • Suspects located with K9 during searches or tracks: 6
  • Formal Public Relations K9 Demonstrations: 19

As some of you may know, Titus became ill in July of 2017. We spent months doing testing, trying various medications, x-rays, etc. In the end Titus was no longer healthy enough to work patrol. So, on January 2018 he was officially retired. I knew I wanted to continue as a K9 handler but given my living situation and time away at training, a hard decision had to be made. After many discussions with family and friends, we decided that the best situation for Titus was to try to find him a good home with someone who would have the time and resources to care for him in the way he deserved. I put the word out and in no time I had a call from a former handler, James Grennan. He and his family came to meet Titus at our house and I think it is safe to say it was a natural fit for James, his family and for Titus.

I will always cherish the time I had working patrol with Titus and all of the great stories and experiences we shared together. He truly is a hero. Rest easy my friend and enjoy your retirement. You have earned it!

As my old partner Titus enjoys lazy days lying on the grass, chasing butterflies and taking naps, a new puppy has joined us at Oceano Dunes. His name is Quick Z. Lijavy (a.k.a. “Janko”). On February 26, 2018 I once again made the drive to Menlo Park, CA. to pick up a new partner. This time was a different experience. As an experienced handler, I had the privilege of getting first pick. I spent 4 hours looking at 12 different potential K9s until I was able to narrow it down to one K9, which in my opinion stood out above all…Janko. He was an 11-month-old “sable” colored German shepherd from Western Czech Republic. He weighed about 65 lbs and was a ball of energy. Janko is social, confident and courageous. Janko has a great personality and will be a great asset for Oceano Dunes, the K9 program and State Parks. Welcome to Oceano Dunes Janko!

K9 Janko Oceano Dunes District
New K9 Janko welcomed to Oceano Dunes SVRA. Photo by Chistopher Hendricks, Oceano Dunes District.
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