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Madison County Sheriff's Deputy honors memory of longtime companion, K9 Shay

Posted at 3:36 PM, Jan 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-31 20:55:20-05

ALDER — Last Monday, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office lost a dear friend and an outstanding deputy, K9 Shay.

Shay began training for an accomplished career as a narcotics detector dog with the Sheriff’s Office at just eight weeks old.

“You know, if it were up to me, I would make sure every officer had a dog,” said retired Madison County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Birdsill.

Shay worked alongside Birdsill, and they worked together for more than a decade until retiring in 2016.

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K9 Shay served alongside Madison County Sheriff's Deputy Dan Birdsill for more than a decade.

“This job, K9, is a job — a full time job inside of a full time job,” Birdsill said.

Since shays passing, Birdsill has reflected on their time together in the line of duty.

“I didnt really have to wrestle with anybody or, you know, really physically slam somebody to the ground or anything like that. And I attribute that to Shay being there,” he said.

Shay’s work ethic was unmatched and often wowed training instructors and handlers. The two even put on demonstrations and led obedience classes for the public.

Birdsill says that Shay was an extension of his soul and that he couldn’t have done it without the support from the Sheriff’s Office and, especially, his wife.

Birdsill says he is most grateful for all of the support from the community.