Zak was an 11-year-old black and tan German shepherd who began working with the sheriff’s office in 2001. His hard work and dedication were demonstrated daily through his work as a dual-purpose dog certified in patrol and narcotics functions. These skills led to numerous apprehensions and narcotics-related arrests.
K9 Zak and Deputy McNeill were assigned to the Jail Division until October 2004 where they both were assigned to Reno patrol. In January 2005 K9 Zak and Deputy McNeill began their tenure as resident Deputies in Gerlach and together they patrolled more than 5,000 square miles together until being re-assigned to Reno Patrol in May.
“Zak will definitely be missed at the sheriff’s office,” Sheriff Mike Haley said. “Zak, like my other service dogs, was one of the humble heroes willing to go places which were not safe even for my deputies. His presence will certainly be missed.”
Zak retired in January and died of congestive heart failure. Zak was great with children and loved sharing an occasional ice cream with his partner after work.
“He would sit with me in the mornings and have coffee and (let me know) if I bounced him around too much in the back of the patrol truck,” McNeill said. “He brought smiles to hundreds of children. He has touched a lot of lives … especially mine.”