Sheriff’s K-9 finishes 4th in statewide ‘top dog’ competition

Marion County Sheriff’s Office K-9 “Rex” finished fourth in the statewide “K-9 March Madness” competition [Courtesy of MCSO Facebook].

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Posted April 10, 2024 | By Caroline Brauchler

After successfully reaching the final four to win the Florida Sheriff’s Association “top dog,” Marion County Sheriff’s Office K-9 “Rex” has been eliminated from the K-9 March Madness competition.

The German shepherd received 10,975 votes in the semi-final round of the competition but was ultimately beaten out by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office K-9 “Laura,” a yellow lab.

“Although we did not advance to the next round, we are truly humbled by all the love and votes for K-9 Rex,” said MCSO on Facebook.

The competition, put on annually by FSA, began with 30 K-9 officers from Florida’s 30 sheriff’s offices. The competition gathered over 500,000 votes from citizens across the state.

“We’re grateful for each and every one of you who voted and shared our posts. Your support is a blessing, and it means everything to our K-9 Unit and the entire Sheriff’s Office team,” according to the Facebook post.

Rex is one of seven K-9 officers in MCSO, handled by Deputy Roman West.

Rex’s successful run in the competition brings happy news after the department tragically lost one of its K-9 officers, Leo, in February.

Leo died after suffering gunshot wounds while responding to a call with deputies earlier this year. The dog was laid to rest and a ceremony was conducted in his honor in March.

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