TAMPA — For retired Tampa police Maj. Sophie Teague, training the department's bloodhound, Snoop, to help people was one of the most rewarding parts of her job.
"They're like your partner," she said. "You're with them every day. They go to work with you, they come home with you."
Snoop died Monday at the Temple Terrace Animal Hospital at the age of 8½. His leg was swollen, and veterinarians said he likely suffered a poisonous insect bite, Teague said. She and Snoop both retired last year.
"I was blessed to have him this long," she said. "I've just been blown away by all the people that were touched by him."
Snoop served as a search-and-rescue dog for Tampa police. He was trained to find lost and missing children. He often accompanied Teague when she visited schools to talk to children about staying safe.
"They would be all over him, hugging him and loving all over him, but he didn't care," she said. "He just let the kids love all over him."
Snoop was a great representative for the department and helped her get the message out to kids to be aware of their surroundings, Teague said.
"Thank the good Lord we never had any real missing children cases during his service," she said. "His greatest benefit to the department was to do all these educational programs and not wait for the abductions to happen."
Snoop enjoyed retirement on Teague's small farm. He loved getting in the swimming pool, she said.
"He just loved being at home. He was a pretty laid-back dog, anyway, but if he got upset about something, he would wake the whole neighborhood up," she said, pausing. "It's been a quiet farm today."
Contact Keeley Sheehan at [email protected] or (813) 226-3368.