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Zira, New Canaan's Beloved K-9, to Retire For Health Reasons

Sgt. Carol Ogrinc said in a news release that Zira "has been an outstanding member of the New Canaan Police Department assisting in many incidents and arrests."

New Canaan's , Zira, who has over the past several years, is reportedly retiring due to health problems.

According to a news release from Sgt. Carol Ogrinc of the New Canaan Police Department, the was recently diagnosed with degenerative spinal disease.

Sgt. Ogrinc said Zira "has been an outstanding member of the New Canaan Police Department and arrests" since she .

Zira recently underwent surgery to treat the condition at Cornell Veterinary Hospital in Ithaca, N.Y., according to the release. Although she is expected to make a full recovery, Zira will no longer be able to serve as a police dog.

Zira will be placed in a pre-screened adopted home where she will spend her retirement years, according to the release.

In addition the company which trained and furnished Zira to the department will be sending a free replacement, as she was under warranty for four years.     

TP July 16, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Hope Zira recovers quickly. Now is an excellent time to ponder whether - warranty or not - we need a replacement dog and the resulting expense and human cost. From what I have seen in the papers, 90 percent plus of use was for marijuana busts of New Canaan's youth. Now that marijuana possession is a 'ticket' offense, perhaps the dog is better used in another town where it can be used for more practical purposes like fighting real crime. Would we buy a dog to snuff out jay walking ? I think not. Goodbye Zira and have a happy life !
NewCanaanVoter July 16, 2012 at 06:29 PM
If only there were some drug that was proven to help with degenerative spinal disease... If that's not karma I don't know what is.
Glen K Dunbar July 16, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I too wish Zira the best of luck. Speedy recovery and hope He/She goes to a good home. Glen
J Bauer July 16, 2012 at 07:18 PM
At least we have a warranty. $50k would have been a big ticket for less than a couple of years of marijuana busts... TP has a good point though. Do we need a K9 team enough to justify the cost of the dog+care+K9 officer or can we manage by borrowing a K9 from a neighboring town or city when it comes to more serious crimes? In these economic times, we should at least be asking the question.
Richard Cranium July 16, 2012 at 08:28 PM
I am sure that the NC PD will miss the drama and excitement in calling in the K-9 unit every time it comes across some hippies in Irwin Park smoking a little grass. Better yet, how about a chopper unit with search lights to zero in on the bust in progress along with a live video stream with paid advertising to help reign in our town's rising property taxes.
Dave July 16, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Zira will be missed as a police dog hope she heals fast
Ben Patch July 17, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Ithaca? How much was the tan Tahoe unmarked car?
robert July 17, 2012 at 02:57 PM
its a beautiful dog and i wish the dog well. It seems all the above comments relate to the economics of such police equipment. while it is nice to read about Zira's detective work, i do not recall one incident of serious harm or crime being prevented or solved. the police dept should put out the cost benefit analysis for all the tax payers to read and decide upon.
J Bauer July 17, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Excellent idea... unfortunately it would be unusual for many (but not all) of our local leaders to ever require such an analysis though.
Paul M Potenza July 17, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Karma? You're implying that Zira was somehow evil and deserved what she got. She was bred and trained to protect the public, and she performed what was asked of her flawlessly. I am sorry that she will nevermore do what her whole life was about. she never attacked anyone and never broke the law, unlike the people she helped the police to detain. Shame on you.
Lisa July 17, 2012 at 09:24 PM
I think Zira was bored with limited work and manufactured a back injury to get a fat disability pension. . Agree on the question of whether a police dog is necessary. I think the budget should be used for a drone that could cover the whole town or a second motorcycle.
John July 18, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I think the average age of all of Zira's arrests was about 19, maybe less
Siwanoy July 18, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Paul, while I agree with your premise, its hard to argue that she was protecting the public, arresting people for marijuana is slightly different then protecting the public, no? I mean its not like she tracked down an armed suspect, sniffed out a bomb, or took down an assailant.. as far as I know at least.
Paul M Potenza July 20, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Sinawoy. I am not debating the appropriateness of her employ at the NCPD. Taxpayer money might indeed be better spent elsewhere: making more attractive brick sidewalks or adding a sidewalk down main street for the purpose of the Memorial Day parade are two shining examples. I was simply responding to a misdirected, sadistic insinuation that Zira got was she deserved.
Siwanoy July 20, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Fully understood and agreed Paul, sorry for the confusion.
TP July 20, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Use your noggins ! Per the NY Times, the drug of choice to relieve pain brought about by degenerative spinal disease is - increasingly - medicinal marijuana, the very demon weed that Zira was "hired" to stamp out ! Thats Karma, knucklehead. Of course if Zira needs it, she certainly should know how to find it !!
Siwanoy July 20, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Zira didn't and doesn't know right or wrong, she was taught to do something, if karma were to occur, it would be to people who trained the dog or the lawmakers that keep medical marijiuana illegal. I'm as pro-weed and anti-drug dogs as they come, but come on, its an animal. Let me guess, the dogs that were trained to attack blacks during the 60's were racist naturally, not taught, right?
mary parker July 22, 2012 at 08:56 AM
OMG: Love the negative comments about Zira, who did what she was trained to do and was purchased by donations from the town citizens who supported the idea of having another K-9 in our town. Zira did her job. She cought a lot of people with drugs, unfortunately she never had the opertunety to attack bad guys because there wasn't any situation to allow her to do that. But if there was I am sure she would have chased them down. Unfortunately she now has a medical problem, not her fault and she will be replaced with another do for free. Would you negative people be satisfied that she attacked and bloodied someone? You should be happy that she got some loser drug smokers ect. busted.
Siwanoy July 22, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Mary, "loser drug smokers", are you insinuating that all pot smokers losers? I'm sure successful people like Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and others fit into your "loser drug smokers" stereotype. Realistic, people understand the situations were put in, most tax payers probably just don't agree with the cost associated to purchase, train and maintain a K9 unit when its used sparingly and only to bust people for drugs... 1 of which is now results in a ticket in smaller amounts.
Glen K Dunbar July 22, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Well, Siwanoy. If Mary will not say it I WILL. YES> I will say pot smokers are ALL lossers and freaks of nature. It is discusting. I would rather spend my money on playing the horse than drugs ANYDAY. OR, spend my money on nice things for my 2 Dogs. as for Zira. He/She deserves to be hugged and commended and taken care of by a loving Family the Police pick out. If I was not so emotionally sick and someone would sponsor me I would for sure Love to adopt Him/Her. But, I know I am not capable of doing it. GLEN
Billy Gumdrop July 22, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Betting is an addiction. Stop making a fool out of yourself.
NewCanaanVoter July 22, 2012 at 08:07 PM
"unfortunately she never had the opertunety to attack bad guys because there wasn't any situation to allow her to do that." That's not true. There was an escaped patient from silver hill hospital who zira had the opportunity to track down, but failed.

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