The Baytown Police Department in Texas is mourning the loss of a beloved K-9 police dog who died last week after suffering a venomous snake bite during a routine training exercise.
According to the Bayton PD, Lenin, the 2-year-old K-9, was pronounced dead by veterinarians on Thursday, March 9. The venomous snake bite occurred the day prior, during an on-duty training exercise with his partner, K-9 Officer Kinzie.
In the immediate aftermath of the bite, Kinzie rushed Lenin to a nearby veterinary hospital, where the dog fought for his life and the staff did everything in their power to save him. Unfortunately, however, the effects of the venom were too severe and Lenin passed away.
The specific species of venomous snake to bite Lenin remains unknown. However, Texas is home to 15 potentially dangerous snake species.
The most common and widespread is the western diamondback rattlesnake, though cottonmouths, copperheads, timber rattlesnakes, and coral snakes all inhabit the Lone Star State and are highly venomous.
Officers Across the Country Mourn K-9 Dog’s Death From Venomous Snake Bite
In the wake of the esteemed K-9’s death, tributes poured in from all over the country. One of the most heartfelt, however, came from Lenin’s Chief of Police, John Stringer.
“The Baytown Police Department mourns the loss of K9 Lenin,” Chief Stringer said in a statement. “He was one of our own as surely as any other officer in this agency is one of our own. For us, that means he was family and he will be missed, but never forgotten.”
“Our hearts are heavy for his partner, K9 Officer Kinzie, who lost not only a partner but a faithful friend. K9 Lenin made significant contributions to the safety of Baytown in his short time with our department and he will be missed.”
Before his untimely death from the venomous snake, Lenin made waves in the K-9 world. Born on August 26, 2020, Lenin became the BPD’s first explosive ordinance detection K-9 just one day before his second birthday. He and his human partner, Officer Kinzie, trained together extensively before becoming a fully-certified team on August 25, 2022.
In the months that followed, the pair worked on several large explosive sweeps in and around Baytown. Lenin even won an award for his impressive efforts. Back in February, Lenin and Kenzie competed against 75 other K-9 teams in a week-long seminar in Alabama. When it was all said and done, Lenin won the award for Top Bomb Dog.
Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for K-9 dogs to suffer attacks from venomous snakes and other wildlife on duty. Earlier this month, an 8-year-old K-9 was attacked by an alligator while searching for a missing person. The gator missed his lung by mere centimeters, leaving the dog with gruesome injuries but his life intact.