Brutus, faithful Mammoth police dog, is dead at 11


Brutus, the K-9 that served the Mammoth Lakes community from 2004 through 2009, has died, the Mammoth Lakes Police Department announced on Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Brutus was put down on Jan. 16 at the age of 11 years due to chronic back problems, the MLPD announced in a news release.

Officer Dan Casabian was Brutus’s K-9 handler partner. They worked together for five years, during which Brutus was involved in several notable incidents.

He tracked and located an attempted murder suspect after a more than a one-mile search.  He searched for and located many firearms and other evidence that was discarded or hidden by fleeing felons. 

He searched and located large amounts of drugs from drug dealers. Brutus was also responsible for the recovery of large amounts of illegal drug money. 

"But most of all," the MLPD said in its announcement, "Brutus protected the men and women of the MLPD and members of the community."

Brutus was retired in 2009 and spent the rest of his life with Officer Casabian and his three children. 

“Protecting the family was just as important as protecting his community," Casabian said. "He will be greatly missed by all."

Brutus was a Czech Shephard born in Checkslovakia in March 2002. Following a fundraising effort that raised over $20,000 in 2004, Brutus was purchasaed from Alderhorst International in Riverside after being hand-selected for Mammoth Lakes by Alderhorst owner/hand Dave Reaver. 

The MLPD in its announcement said the police were looking for a well mannered and well tempered police dog trained in both patrol/apprehension and narcotics detection. 

Reaver recommended Brutus because he believed he would  be the best fit for Mammoth Lakes.

No one was as close to Brutus than Casibian, though.  

"He was my partner, best friend, and family member," Casabian said. "Rest in peace, buddy!”