AFTER EIGHT YEARS, Jony is leaving local law enforcement work.

AFTER EIGHT YEARS, Jony is leaving local law enforcement work.

MELROSE — Every dog has his day but after an eye problem started to affect his vision, K-9 Jony has reached the day of his bittersweet retirement from the department.

“For the past eight years, Jony has been an invaluable part of the Melrose Police Department, especially in locating narcotics and suspects,” said Police Chief Michael L. Lyle. “His skills supplement our officers’ skills and he keeps them out of harm’s way. The entire Department will miss Jony.”

K-9 Jony’s local primary care physician is Doctor Stewart J. Silverman and his staff at Melrose Animal Clinic who always took special care of him over the years. His eye care also aided by Dr. Clara O. Williams and her staff at Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital in Woburn.

Jony developed his training skills through the Middlesex County Sheriffs K-9 Academy. He further enhanced his skills through the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department K-9 program under the direction of Mark Corriea.

Lyle extended his sincere gratitude to Bob Rotundi the owner of D & R Paving and John Gately owner of Gately Funeral Home for their generosity toward the Melrose Police Department K-9 program since its inception.

A special thanks to Ester Murphy for kind treats for Jony and donations to our K-9 team. The Melrose Humane Society for their support and being instrumental in obtaining a grant for Jony’s ballistic vest.

Jony, the 8-year-old German Shephard, who was born in Europe but flown to the United States when he was 10 months old, has been with the MPD ever since as the organization’s first ever and only K-9.

Unfortunately, Jony is being forced to retire early due to an eye infection that developed in to an inoperable detached retina and cataract in his right eye, which has threatened his vision and the eye itself.

K-9 Jony was paired with Melrose Police Department Patrol Officer Joseph H. Donovan, and they have been partners ever since. Jony will continue to stay with and be cared for by Donovan and his family during his retirement. Together, the two of them have successfully tracked suspects and searched for narcotics in Melrose, Malden, Stoneham, Reading, Chelsea, Wakefield, Saugus, Somerville and Tewksbury.

“I could not have asked for a better partner over the past eight years,” Officer Donovan continued. “Not only has be located missing persons, located suspects and found illicit drugs trying to make their way into our community but Jony has been a fixture in Melrose and meeting residents all over the City.”

Jony has assisted in locating at least nine wanted suspects during his stellar career with Melrose Police Department. Jony has proven his worth in locating missing persons in Melrose and neighboring communities. He has also demonstrated his skills during visits with seniors at the Milano Center, elementary schools and the Junior Police Academy.