The image of a devoted dog sobbing next to its owner’s coffin and refusing to leave is heartrending to everyone.
More than 1,000 people including hundreds of fellow police officers from adjacent states—turned out at a funeral in rural Kentucky late last week to pay their respects to Jason Ellis, a 33-year-old K-9 officer mowed down in what authorities believe was an ambush.
Fido, Ellis’ police dog, was there, too, placing his paw on the closed casket—a moment captured in a devastating image by photographer Jonathan Palmer.
Fido was not with Ellis on May 25 when he was shot multiple times while collecting detritus on a highway off-ramp in Bardstown, Ky., a close-knit community of about 12,000 located 40 miles southeast of Louisville. Ellis’ slaying remains unresolved.
Dozens of fellow K-9 officers attended the funeral and, according to the Herald Leader, their canines could be heard howling from their cruisers:
Hundreds of officers jerked to attention when the honor guard was summoned; the 60 or so police dogs at the ceremony barked with the sound of the guards’ 21-gun salute.Ellis, a six-year veteran of the police force, was remembered by Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin, who vowed to chase down the killer.
“I’m your chief, Jason, but you’re our hero, and you need to know that this chief will not back down,” McCubbin added.” Jason, my friend, rest easy. We’ve got it from here. “Ellis is survived by his wife, Amy, and two boys, Hunter, 7, and Parker, 6.”He paid the ultimate sacrifice doing what he loved, being a police officer,” McCubbin added.