CONGRATS to our Pal DAX!!!

“Lake County Sheriff’s K9 Dax Retires
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office announces the retirement of K9 Dax.
K9 Dax joined the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in the spring of 20 15. K9 Dax was 13 months old when he joined the team. As the Lake County community has followed over the years, K9 Dax has thrived in his role as a police canine. K9 Dax and his partner, Deputy John Forlenza, have located over 400 missing endangered people or fleeing felons. He has hundreds of kilos of illegal drugs, millions of dollars seized, dozens of firearms discarded by offenders, dozens of seized vehicles, and has participated in hundreds of community and school demonstrations.
K9 Dax has received awards for:
2016 Illinois House of Representatives – General Assembly Award
2017 ASIS International (Illinois North Shore Chapter) – Law Enforcement Officer of the Year
2017 Chicago Crime Commission – Paws of Distinction Award
2018 K9s of Valor Foundation – K9 of the Year
2019 Lake County Board Special Recognition
2019 The 100 Club of Chicago – Valor Award
May 14, 2019 State of Illinois House of Representatives 101st General Assembly – House Resolution No. 872 offered by Representative Sam Yingling
2019 American Humane Hero Dog – Law Enforcement Winner
2019 Italian American Police Association – Officer of the Year
2022 State Senator Craig Wilcox – Certificate of Recognition
2022 Lake County Sheriff’s Office – Commendation Award
2022 Illinois Sheriff’s Association – Award of Merit
2023 Lake County Sheriff’s Office – The Sheriff’s Award of Valor
2023 Illinois Law Enforcement – Medal of Honor
2023 The German Shepherd Dog Club of America – Hero Dog Award
During Dax’s career with the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) he competed in several regional and national trials across the country. Dax has earned numerous top finishes in the areas of tracking, article searches, narcotics, suspect searches, and protection. Dax won six USPCA Regional Championships and earned two Tracking Exceptional Certifications.
K9 Dax has appeared in/on:
Numerous local and national news stations
People Magazine
Hero Dogs (Fox Nation)
American Humane’s Hero Dog (Hallmark Channel – Los Angeles, California)
Home and Family (Hallmark Channel – Los Angeles, California)
Access Daily (NBC – Los Angeles, California)
Today with Hoda & Jenna (NBC – New York, New York)
America’s Top Dog (A&E Network – Santa Clarita, California)
Dynamic K9 Duos (ESPN – Valdosta, Georgia)
On March 3, 2024, K9 Dax was injured while apprehending a person who had committed several felonies, and was fleeing. K9 Dax injured his neck and spine, which resulted in temporary paralysis to his hindquarters. K9 Dax was subsequently diagnosed with cervical and thoracolumbar Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) and lumbosacral IVDD exasperated during his apprehension on March 3rd. K9 Dax went through intensive physical therapy following the injury, allowing him to regain the ability to walk and use his hind legs.
K9 Dax’s team of veterinarians determined that, for his physical wellbeing, he would not be able to return to active duty.
Sheriff John D. Idleburg has accepted K9 Dax’s official retirement request from Deputy Forlenza and ordered him to be turned over to Deputy John Forlenza, to enjoy his retirement. K9 Dax will undoubtedly miss going to work every day but will enjoy relaxing with Deputy Forlenza and his family.
Deputy John Forlenza said, “There is no way to quantify or properly express what Dax’s service has meant to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the Lake County community, his supporters across the nation, and especially me. But I cannot refrain from stating that his service has been exemplary, and most importantly, he has saved countless lives, including my own. I am proud to have been his handler and best friend for the last nine years. Dax is a true hero and well deserving of the rest and love that waits for him in his retirement. I’d like to especially thank Dax’s supporters, team of veterinarians, trainers, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and my family and friends for all their support throughout his career.”
Sheriff John D. Idleburg said, “Deputy John Forlenza and K9 Dax exemplify what a true partnership looks like. They are among the top canine teams in the nation. There was virtually nothing K9 Dax couldn’t handle. He saved many lives throughout his career, apprehended some of the most violent offenders, and located major quantities of illegally trafficked drugs. On behalf of the men and women of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Lake County community, thank you, K9 Dax, for your dedication, your commitment, and your service to our community.”
A retirement ceremony will be announced at a future date.”
Dax & John