Through its Ministry of Justice, the Palau government memorialized the passing of its drug detection dog K9 Keiko, a five-year-old Belgian Malinois dog, on May 12, 2023, at ARFF station in Airai, Palau.
K9 Keiko was one of eight working dogs provided by the United States to Palau as part of the Building Partner Capacity Program. She (Keiko) worked with Narcotics and Customs and Border Protection to detect illegal drugs entering the country.
“K9 Keiko worked to protect Palau’s children and people by detecting harmful drugs entering our communities,” said President Whipps of the important contributions of K9 Keiko. He said that Palau should learn from this and work to improve the situation so that the K9 continues to support law enforcement in the work to combat illegal drugs.
Mr. Smith, the K9 trainer, explained some of the special characteristics of Keiko, saying that she was a very hard-working and special K9 who had developed a close relationship with her handler.
K9 Keiko was featured earlier this year in the Pacific Daily News in Guam when it was medivac out of Palau for urgent medical care in March of 2023. It took coordinated efforts from the different US military branches, various veterinarians, and organizations to save her life.