Police celebrate four-legged officer’s five years of service

Police dog Daxa gnaws on a bone from Chief Jon Bergen for her retirement. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Jayda Noyes, Daily Herald

Prince Albert police dog Daxa is hanging up her uniform.

The well-loved member has spent over five years working beside Cst. Kelsey Bighetty.

With 500 deployments and apprehending over 200 suspects, Bighetty said he’s happy to see his companion retire.

“Even though she can go a few more years…I’m not going to work her to the bone and then she has no retirement. She deserves it,” he said.

The seven-year-old german shepherd has assisted with too many calls for him to pick one that stands out, but he said the most important calls are the ones where she’s helped save a life.

“She’s apprehended guys that have loaded firearms and stuff like that and because of her engaging that suspect, that suspect dropped the firearm, so she’s done so much amazing work.”

This past month, the team received two awards: the RCMP Commanders Commendation and the St. John Ambulance Lifesaving Award, which Bighetty said “put the icing on the cake.”

He’ll continue to lead his other police dog, Feebee.

“The last week and a half, (Daxa) hasn’t been deployed at all. I’ve deployed the other dog at calls, so it’s been tough leaving her behind. I have a split kennel at home and she whines and tries to push her way into the police vehicle when I’m grabbing the other dog, so it’s tough that way, but at the same time, she’s done her part,” he said.

People of all ages came to the Alfred Jenkins Field House for her retirement party on Thursday filled with balloons, cake and many young children eager to meet Daxa—she was gifted many treats, including a giant bone from Chief Jon Bergen.

“When we’re doing live tracks and stuff, there’s people stopping, yelling ‘Hey, is that Daxa? Can we pet her?’ and I say ‘Nah, not right now, we’re working,’ right? So there’s a lot of people that know her and this is just our way of saying thanks to the public,” said Bighetty.

He’s purchased Daxa from the police service, with Bighetty and Bergen signing an agreement of ownership at her party.

Cst. Kelsey Bighetty signs the agreement of ownership to purchase police dog Daxa from the service. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Earlier this month, a new K9 unit—Cst. Mathew Brown and police dog Jeb—took on their first shift.