Kaleo was born on April 8th 2003 in Holland. When he was eighteen months old he came to the United States and was selected to be assigned as my K9 partner as unit K97. Kaleo received his name from an elementary school student who won the “Name the police dog contest.” Kaleo’s name is Hawaiian and means “strong voice.” Kaleo completed his basic training and certification in December of 2004, and began patrolling the streets of Sacramento in January of 2005.
Kaleo took quickly to the job of being a police k9 and was great at it. Over his four years of service to Sacramento County he had numerous apprehensions of suspects and helped to make Sacramento a safer place. One of the greatest things about Kaleo is his social goofy behavior. It seems like everywhere he went he always had the ability to win people over, and sucker them in to a game of fetch. Kaleo will bring you anything that he thinks you can throw for him, even if it is not possible. In his mind if he brings it to you, then it has the ability to be played with. For the people that have met him they can attest to the water bottle game that he loves to play. Just don’t stand to close to him if you give him one, unless you plan on getting wet.In the summer of 2009 Kaleo went into the Vet for an annual check up and teeth cleaning. During this procedure a mass was found on his rear foot. It was later determined that the mass was a cancerous tumor and he needed surgery to remove it. After the tumor was removed he would need radiation and chemotherapy to prevent it from coming back. Due to this and the unknown outcome Kaleo was forced to retire. This was not easy news to take since Kaleo had become a large part of my home and work life. At the time I could not imagine going to work and leaving him at home. He had become one of the best partners I had ever had, and I knew work would be different without him. Little did I know at the time, his job of protecting the citizens of Sacramento County would be ending and he would be taking on the full time job of watching over my family and becoming a playmate for my young children.
It is a great feeling now days that I know when I leave for work that there is someone there watching over my family. I have enjoyed the times of watching my daughters dress Kaleo up, or cover him with yogurt, frosting, or what ever else they can seem to get into. You can’t help but laugh when you catch your kids staring at you with this look of I didn’t mean to do it and Kaleo sitting right there next to them with the same look. I know even though my kids are young they will always remember growing up with their buddy Kaleo.
It is because of the support of the community that I have been able to share these experiences with Kaleo and my family. The Kaleo’s 5k was started in 2009 to cover his treatment costs which were in excess of $12,000. Due to the overwhelming support, since the founding of Kaleo’s 5K the Sacramento Sheriff’s K9 Association has been able to cover costly medical procedures for many of our retired partners. Kaleo and I thank you for your support and are eternally great full for everything that you have done. We are excited for this years run and look forward to seeing you all there.
Mark & Kaleo