Columbia police dog dies of natural causes

Cezar with Sgt. Josh Bayer in 2009. (Corey Saathoff photo)

With heavy hearts, the Columbia Police Department on Monday announced the death of its first police dog, Cezar.

Cezar, 9, began working with the department in April 2005, and was assigned to CPD K-9 Officer Sgt. Josh Bayer.

On Saturday, the department learned Cezar was suffering from kidney failure, Columbia Police Chief Joe Edwards stated in a news release. Cezar died early Sunday morning at Bayer’s residence.      

 “Cezar had been working regularly and showed no signs of distress.” Edwards said.

Cezar, a German Shepherd, was born in Slovakia on Jan. 18, 2004, and served the citizens of Columbia for eight years, one month and 12 days. Cezar was purchased with funds raised through Columbia schools, civic organizations and private donations from citizens. 

“Over the last eight years, Cezar has assisted the Columbia Police Department on drug cases, search warrants, missing persons and a number of other criminal investigations,” Edwards said. “Cezar will be missed by his handler, all the members of the Columbia Police Department, and the community as a whole.”   


A farewell ceremony will take place this Thursday at 11 a.m. outside the new Immaculate Conception Church, located at 411 Palmer Road, Columbia.


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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.
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