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Credit: Robert Young ©AKC

We were saddened to hear of the death of Jesse, a German Shepherd search dog from Riverhead, New York. Jesse won the 2013 AKC Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) in the Search and Rescue category.

“We lost our beloved Jesse on Christmas night,” read the e-mail from owner-handler Susan Condreras. “Jesse was fine all day but that evening had a vomiting episode and seemed very restless. I took her to our ER and she had Mesenteric torsion. The involvement was extensive. We had to make the painful and difficult decision to let her go. We are heartbroken. Jesse was one in a million and her absence is so painful.”

Jesse was a dual-certified volunteer K-9 with Long Island Search and Rescue. Not long ago, with Susan’s patient help, Jesse made it all the way back from two herniated disks in her spine to resume her career. We welcomed dog and handler into the AKC family last fall at AKC Meet the Breeds, in New York City. In December, the team was honored during the AKC/Eukanuba festivities in Orlando.

“We are grateful to have had the trip to Florida for all to see our wonderful Jesse; but we never thought that 11 days later she would leave us forever,” Susan wrote. In the selfless spirit that exemplified both dog and handler, Susan and Jesse were also a certified therapy team, with more than 250 visits to their credit. Jesse was a great asset to her community. She was a credit to her breed. And she was real sweetheart of a dog. Now she’s gone, at just 6 years old. There’s little to say at times like this except, it’s a damn shame.

Please take a moment to visit the memorial site at
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