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State Police mourn Tippett, K-9 who served nearly nine years

Massachusetts State Police are mourning the loss of K-9 Tippett, who died Friday after a brief illness. Tippett was a member of the force for nearly nine years.
Massachusetts State Police are mourning the loss of K-9 Tippett, who died Friday after a brief illness. Tippett was a member of the force for nearly nine years.Massachusetts State Police

Massachusetts State Police are mourning the death of retired K-9 Tippett, who over nearly nine years with the force was involved in several major cases, including the investigation into the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, the department said Sunday.

Tippett’s handler, Sergeant Gregory Keane, said the dog died Friday at home after a brief illness, surrounded by Keane’s family and his favorite toys.

Tippett was one of the first dual-purpose patrol and firearm detection dogs when he became a member of the State Police K-9 unit in 2009, Keane said. He worked on various cases in Bristol and Plymouth counties, conducted protective sweeps for dignitaries and in school and judicial buildings, and helped police track down suspects fleeing law enforcement.

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“More importantly he participated in many search and rescue missions for lost children, elderly people, emotionally disturbed persons, bringing many home safely,” Keane said.

Tippett spent his last few years in retirement living with Keane’s family. Keane said he didn’t know how Tippett would adjust to a slower pace of life, but he settled right in.

“I was fortunate that I was able to work with a partner like Tippett,” Keane said. “I had thought he gave everything during his working career. I was wrong. He had so much more to give to my family during his three years of retirement. Tippett made tough days better, busy days balanced, and life a little simpler. We are going to miss the 5 a.m. rib kicks letting us know it was time for breakfast.

“Thank you bud! Free time.”


Nick Stoico can be reached at nick.stoico@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @NickStoico.