K9 braveheart dies

TOP TEAM: Legendary Humansdorp police dog Quincy, who saved his handler Sergeant Leon Nel’s life, has been put down Picture: Supplied
TOP TEAM: Legendary Humansdorp police dog Quincy, who saved his handler Sergeant Leon Nel’s life, has been put down
Picture: Supplied

Fearless Humansdorp police dog euthanised due to stabbing after-effects

A legendary Humansdorp police dog – which tackled more than 100 wanted criminals during its six-year stint on the force – has been put down due to a decline in his health following a stabbing.

Quincy, 9, described as a “legend” by several police officers, was a highly trained German Shepherd who spent his career on the beat with handler and K9 Unit Sergeant Leon Nel.

The duo mainly worked in the Kouga district which includes Humansdorp and surrounding towns like Jeffreys Bay, Patensie and St Francis Bay.

Quincy was put down on Monday after his condition, a degenerative spinal disease, led to his health rapidly deteriorating.

He was buried on the K9 Unit grounds on the same day.

Quincy was well known to farmers and residents due to his “no-nonsense attitude” and agility in tackling fleeing criminals.

An emotional Nel, who is on a training course at the police training centre in Roodeplaat in Pretoria, said Quincy had been on retirement since March 2014 and living at his family home in Humansdorp.

Quincy went into retirement following a stabbing when he saved Nel’s life during a confrontation with a burglar in Jeffreys Bay in 2012.

“The suspect attempted to stab me. However, Quincy tackled him to the ground and got stabbed instead. He saved my life without even thinking or hesitation,” Nel said.

“Despite being injured, Quincy continued to keep the burglar at bay until he was handcuffed.

“After the attack Quincy went for several operations and eventually due to a spinal disease we opted to retire him.”

Nel said that in addition to tackling more than 100 fleeing suspects, Quincy had been involved with several arrests, from robbers and burglars to stock thieves and murderers.

“At one stage, farmers and residents were calling [me] while I was off duty to assist them. I would rush out with Quincy in my private car and track the suspects down.

“His arrest and detection rate was impeccable. We were the perfect team, committed to fighting crime side by side.”

Recently, Nel bought another dog, Max, which he is training.

“Quincy was in a league of his own,” he said.

“Max has big paws to fill but I have a feeling he is up to the task. Time will tell.

“Quincy saved my life and others – many times over.

“He never, ever backed down in a confrontation and would without a doubt take a bullet for me – or anyone for that matter.

“He was born to be a police dog.”

Quincy was also a blood donor. “The vets are very saddened by his death,” Nel said.

Despite taking a back seat in recent years, Quincy continued with training to keep him active.

Nel, who bought Quincy for R9 000 and personally trained him before signing him up in the police as his partner, said putting him down was one of the toughest decisions of his life.

Nel’s wife, Monja, who is also a police officer, said they were shattered by his death.

“He lived with us for his entire life. He really was a member of our family and I am sure his loss will be felt by many,” she said.

“But Quincy was in pain and this was unfortunately the right and humane thing to do.”

The Humansdorp K9 Unit will have a memorial service for Quincy in April when Nel returns home with Max.

Acting unit commander Warrant Officer Deon Swanepoel said: “Quincy will be sorely missed. He served the community without fear and would not hesitate to tackle one robber or an entire group by himself.”

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