STEPHENS COUNTY, OK (KSWO)- The Stephens County Sheriff's Office said goodbye to their K-9 Tuco at a memorial service Wednesday.
The 3-year-old German Shepard died in a car crash Sunday morning near Duncan Lake Road and Plato Road.
People described Tuco as more than just a K-9, he was loyal servant, hero and family member who will be remembered and greatly missed. Deputies, Police Officers, Detectives, and people in the community paid their respects and said their finals goodbyes.
With heavy hearts dozens of people gathered at the Stephens County Fairgrounds Arena to remember Sheriff's Deputy K-9 Tuco.
Tears rolled down the eyes of many as several people paid tribute to Tuco.
We love you and you will be greatly missed," said Veterinarian Jeff Hammon.
"For it's not just those with two legs who were born with a soul and have the courage to wear a badge. Police K-9'S are special animals," said Detective Kevin Tyus.
His handler Deputy Matthew Brown shared some of his favorite memories of Tuco and the impact he had on his life.
"To some of you he just may be a dog, but to me his is family and will always be family," said Deputy Matthew Brown.
Tuco was a German Sheppard.He became trapped under water after Deputy Matthew Brown's car hydroplaned and overturned.
Deputy Gary Hunt was able to rescue Brown, but could not free Tuco.
"It breaks my heart for what we went through this week," said Sheriff Wayne McKinney.
For anyone who has ever experienced the death of a companion animal the loss is tough.Sheriff Wayne McKinney said the department is doing everything they can to be there for Deputy Brown during this difficult time.
"These handlers get attached both emotionally and they are attached as a working partner and when you lose a partner like that, especially under the circumstances it was. It's going to be a while before he gets through this," said Sheriff McKinney said.
Tuco was many things to many people. A loyal servant, good will ambassador, family member, friend and hero. The department said while it will be hard finding another K-9 Deputy, Tuco's legacy will live on forever.
"It's going to be a hard one to fill. Tuco was a dedicated K-9 deputy and hopefully, hopefully one day we will be able to replace him you know we really wont replace Tuco, we will replace him with another animal," Sheriff McKinney said.
Tuco was born in the Netherlands and started his service as a k-9 with the Stephens County Sheriff's Department in 2016.