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Missing Police K9 Found Dead After July 4 Backyard Escape

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Police found Kona had been hit by a car Thursday (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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A Reedley city police dog missing since July 4 was found dead Thursday, the department reported on Facebook.

Reedley police said the German Shepherd named Kona had been hit by a car in Visalia.

“We want to express our gratitude to everyone who contributed their time, support, and concern throughout the search,” the post stated. “Your dedication and compassion were truly inspiring during this challenging time.”

Police believe Kona, who was 10-years-old, had crawled to a vineyard where he died after being struck. The California Highway Patrol is deciding whether to take a hit-and-run report.

Kona had run away from his handler’s home in Visalia on July 4. Surveillance footage of Kona shows the dog breaking through a wooden fence while fireworks were being set off.

“We understand the emotional impact this news may have, and we extend our sincerest condolences to the Officer’s family and all those who had been tirelessly searching for the dog,” the post stated.

Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at Edward.Smith@gvwire.com.