An Alabama Department of Corrections drug-sniffing dog was carrying out a contraband search at a prison last week when he sniffed out something that killed him. Authorities say Jake, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, collapsed after detecting the substance during a contraband search Thursday at the Staton Correctional Facility, the Montgomery Advertiser reports. Nursing staff performed CPR before the dog was transported to the Auburn University Veterinary Clinic. Authorities say he showed some improvement early Friday, but developed pneumonia later in the day and died Saturday. Investigators believe the substance Jake detected was synthetic marijuana, which is sometimes laced with stronger drugs including fentanyl, the Washington Post reports.
Jake, who had been with the department since he was a puppy, was "one of the best," authorities say. Handler Quinton Jones says his partner had an "impeccable record in counter-drug operations." Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn said Monday that Jake's "heroism and ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten." Jake, who was given an official commendation by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday, will be buried with full honors. "Jake is an example of the goodness, the loyalty and service that our four-legged friends provide," Ivey said. "We certainly lost a loyal companion." Authorities say the death will be thoroughly investigated and whoever is responsible for the death will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. (Last month, a police dog in Washington state made a $1 million find.)