After 7-1/2 years of active duty with her partner, A/Sergeant Mark Wong, K9 Patrol Dog Ziva will retire from the Seattle Police Department’s Canine Unit later this year.
In recognition of her outstanding work protecting Seattle residents and businesses as well as raising over $40,000 for local animal shelters and organizations, the Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation (SASF) will honor Ziva at its 7th Annual Raining Cats and Dogs Auction on Saturday, October 14.
In addition to fighting crime and raising money for charities, Ziva broke new ground for “grrrl power” at the SPD as she was the first female “generalist patrol” police dog to work in SPD’s Canine Unit; and for a few years, she was the only female generalist patrol dog in the State of Washington.
Her primary responsibilities include searching buildings and open areas to locate evidence and find criminal suspects.
Sgt. Wong told me that in the last year he began to think about retiring Ziva because, at almost 10-years-old, she’s at the upper age limit for police K9s. He also noticed she began to show signs of fatigue last summer.
Ziva was born on November 15, 2007 and spent her first 2 years as a family dog with Snohomish County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Gibson, who was also a K9 handler.
Eventually she showed the potential to be a police K9, so in April 2010 she began her initial training. She was then paired with Sgt. Wong, and they began formal police dog training that fall.
Ziva’s original name was Neena, but Sgt. Wong decided to name her (appropriately) after a character on the TV crime drama NCIS.
Once Ziva and Sgt. Wong attained their certification on February 10th, 2011, they didn’t waste any time getting down to work.
The next day she tracked down her first suspect, an alleged drunk driver who fled from the Washington State Patrol after crashing his car near I-5 and Roanoke Street in Seattle.
Since then, Officer Wong and Ziva amassed an impressive record that includes:
- responding to more than 5000 police calls
- participating in 81 felony arrests and 23 misdemeanor arrests
- conducting 312 tracks for suspects
- leading 115 building/area searches
Their most famous call occurred in December 2013 when Ziva tracked down a thief who stole $7500 worth of merchandise from a small jewelry shop in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood just before Christmas. (Charley + May Robbed This Morning But SPD K-9 Ziva Saves the Day).
Here are some stories about some of their other successful searches:
SPD: Pot shop burglar caught after neighborhood chase (4/2/15)
Purse Theft Leads to Stolen Car, Car Crash, Foot Pursuit, And Burglary Ring (6/6/15)
K-9 helps Seattle police track down nine-time felon (2/16/16)
K9 Team, Officers Track, Arrest Auto Thief in West Seattle (8/4/16)
Officers, K9 Ziva Arrest Man for Armed Robbery in Georgetown (3/20/17)
Seattle PD K-9 tracks down pants-less man who allegedly threatened woman (5/12/17)
Ziva also found time to be a notable K9 and community ambassador. She demonstrated her tracking skills at more than 100 events in Seattle area, performing at the Seattle Kennel
Club Dog Show and raising money to help dogs and other animals in need.
She and Officer Wong became favorites at SASF’s auction where they donated a K9 Ride‐a-Long experience where the highest bidder would join Ziva and Mark on their third shift patrol.
This year, SASF will recognize Zika’s retirement on stage at the event and thank her for her contributions to SASF over the years with a special dog cake and other treats.
Also, at each SASF auction, the Shelter has a Fund-a-Need project, and this year’s project is purchasing an Xray machine and creating at Xray suite at the shelter so animals in need of Xrays can have them done at the shelter versus having to travel to another clinic.
SASF will dedicate the Xray suite to Ziva in honor of her tireless work to protect our families, pets and the Seattle community.
“Ziva has had a remarkable career, and the Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation is thrilled for the opportunity to recognize her contributions to Seattle both on the job as a patrol dog and her off duty ambassador work,” said SASF president Whitney Allen.
SASF’s 7th Annual Raining Cats and Dogs Auction will be on Saturday, October 14 at from 5:00 PM – 9:30 PM at the Bell Harbor Int’l Conference Center. Tickets are still available. Click here for more information.
After retiring, Ziva will live with Officer Wong, his wife, a 2-year old black Lab named Sully, and a 1-year-old German Shepherd puppy named Katniss that will start training next year to be Officer Wong’s next K-9 partner.
Congratulations on your retirement, Ziva! I see many treats and belly rubs in your future.