SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — The Shreveport Fire Department said goodbye to a retired K9 agent Thursday.
Jude, a black lab, lived a life of service for the Shreveport Fire Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) since May 26, 2006.
His handler, Assistant Chief of Fire Prevention Mike Hood, announced Jude’s death on April 2, 2021. Jude’s legacy was honored in a memorial service Thursday afternoon at Independence Stadium.
“They spend a lot of time together. Every day they work together, training, so that he was the best at what he could do, and you see the impact he had all across the nation,” said Chief Scott Wolverton.
“And most of our citizens don’t even realize things like that in the Shreveport Fire Department happen. So I couldn’t be more proud of Chief Mike. Just thankful for Jude, thankful for his service, and we hope we can have another ATF dog sometime in the future.”
K9 agents live with their handlers, becoming part of the family. Jude’s mom describes how she felt a sense of security with Jude as her husband’s partner.
“Knowing that there is a trained canine who loves your husband, who’s going to go out and make sure he finds what he needs to find and keeps him safe,” said Sarah Hood. “And I know it’s not my husband walking first into a room, it’s Jude, who’s trained to find what’s there; where my husband may not see it, Jude will see it.
“So I know when my husband goes somewhere, he’s safe, because Jude is watching out for him.”
Hood said after Jude’s retirement, he became their household dog and lived out his final years laying around the house and having fun with the whole family.