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Retired Massena Police Department K9 Cota dies

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When I first signed up to be a K9 officer, I was excited for the chance to work with such an amazing animal. An animal that was capable of using his nose to detect narcotics, find a bad guy or track a lost child.

What I didn’t know, is how hard it was going to be when this animal passed away.

Last night, K9 Cota passed away in the comfort of his home following his battle with degenerative myelopathy. Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive disease of the canine spinal cord. After consulting with the vet and determining that he was not in any pain, we decided to keep him here where I stood by his side until he took his final breath. Cota was so much more than just an animal, he was a partner, a protector and a friend. He was part of the family and will never be forgotten.

Cota began his career with me in 2005 after successfully completing a K9 handler course in Watertown, where he certified in narcotics detection and tracking. During his eight-year career, before retiring last year, he helped to rid the streets of drugs as well as performed numerous tracks which led to several high profile arrests.

Not only was Cota able to locate and assist in the seizure of large amounts of heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana, but more than $250,000 in cash was also seized. Cota was an incredible dog and asset to the department and its members, as well as the entire area in which he served.

Cota was also very popular in the community, touching the lives of the children of Massena by making countless appearances in schools and other K9 demonstrations. He was always a crowd favorite with his outgoing personality. Cota will truly be missed, I’m sure by many. I want to thank you for your service

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