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DuPage County bomb-sniffing dog remembered as ‘best partner’

Utah the DuPage County bomb-sniffing dog. | DuPage County sheriff's office

The DuPage County sheriff’s office is mourning the loss of its beloved bomb-sniffing dog Utah, a 13-year-old black lab that died Wednesday.

“Utah was one of the rarest canines the sheriff’s office has ever had,” Sheriff John Zaruba said in a statement. “He spent his life protecting the citizens of DuPage County in and out of the DuPage County Courthouse until he retired in 2012.”

The dog was trained by the ATF to detect more than 19,000 types of explosives, sheriff’s police said.

His primary assignment was at the courthouse, though he and handler Deputy Ken Diebert performed numerous other sweeps, including at venues for dignitaries including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Hillary Clinton.

“K-9 Utah was a fantastic explosive detection canine, as well as the best partner anyone could ask for,” Diebert said. “Utah crossed the rainbow bridge Wednesday. He will be sorely missed, but his presence will be felt in the hallways of the courthouse forever.”