EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — A retired EPD K9 was surrounded by friends and family Tuesday afternoon as he “passed over the rainbow bridge”.

Southern Indiana Police Canine Association Inc., a non-profit focused on helping local retired K9’s, shared their memories of K9 Willy on social media with plenty of pictures.

“He had been battling some health issues lately and it finally got the best of him,” the organization says in the post. “Retired EPD K9 Willy had an interesting story to say the least.”

He was born and raised as a competition duck hunting dog, but later joined the Evansville Police Department in 2012. A spokesperson says K9 Willy worked alongside two handlers before being assigned to Detective John Montgomery.

Leading up to his retirement in 2016, K9 Willy worked as a drug dog in the Joint Task Force Unit where he reportedly sniffed out hundreds of pounds of drugs. John’s wife, Lauren Montgomery, became K9 Willy’s new handler after retirement. She tells us that he was the “best boy”.

(Courtesy: SIPCA)

“Willy enjoyed the good life, swimming in the pool, long walks, playing fetch with all the delivery drivers, tubing at Lake Barkley, and becoming his mom’s favorite co-worker during Covid lockdown, never leaving her side,” SIPCA says on Facebook.

The organization adds that K9 Willy loved his family, playing fetch and tennis balls.

“He had a ball drive like no other which is what made him such a terrific and effective police dog,” the social media post mentions. “His reward for finding narcotics was a tennis ball.”

Not only was K9 Willy a great police dog, he was a great father too. We’re told that during his retirement, he fathered eleven children, all of which went to law enforcement families.

SIPCA says that K9 Willy will be greatly missed and condolences go out to his family. “Rest In Peace Willy, we will take the watch from here.”