The Toms River Police Department posted the following message to their Facebook page.

It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Police K-9 Officer Thunder. We also offer our condolences to his Handler and partner Sgt. James Reilly. Thunder passed peacefully of natural causes.

Thunder came to this county from Czechoslovakia in 2003 to begin his training as a police K-9 for the Toms River Police Department. He was crossed trained for patrol work and narcotics detection. Thunder was eager to preform and easily trained. He had a unique personality that allowed him to complete all of his duties, while always wanting to be praised. Thunder preformed numerous public K-9 demonstrations. He was a crowd favorite because of his big size and big heart. Whether preforming in front of elementary school children, senior citizens or at the Ocean County Fair every summer Thunder loved the spotlight.

Throughout Thunder’s career he was involved in many calls for service. Some of these included building searches for suspects, tracks for missing persons, tracks for suspects from burglaries, narcotic searches, as well as protecting police officers at large disturbances.

One of the highlights of K-9 Thunder’s career was when he was called upon to conduct a narcotics search. Thunder gave a positive indication on a hidden compartment in a van that yielded a quantity of cocaine. As the investigation continued, Thunder was then tasked with conducting a narcotics search on the exterior of multiple storage units. Thunder’s positive indication resulted in a search warrant being obtained and a large quantity of cocaine was seized and multiple parties were arrested for narcotics distribution.

Upon his retirement in December 2013, Thunder was able to do some of the things he enjoyed most including spend time with his family and getting his head and belly rubbed. K-9 Thunder will be missed by many.

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