Acton’s first police canine passes

The Acton Police Department has lost a loyal and valued member — K9 Miso, the department’s first dog. According to a tribute and obituary written by Miso’s handler of eight years, Officer Dan Holway, he passed on June 30. Holway, now an officer with the Ipswich Police, worked with Miso for eight years as his handler with the Acton Police Department.

What follows is Holway’s tribute to Miso. It has been reformatted for digital publication.

Canine Miso was Acton’s first police canine. He was whelped Jan. 8, 2006 in the Czech Republic, and acquired by Acton in June 2007 when the Acton Police Department implemented its first Canine Team. Miso passed away peacefully with his handler by his side on June 30, 2018.

Officer Daniel Holway and Canine Miso graduated from the Boston Police Canine Patrol Academy in September, 2007 and the Boston Police Canine Narcotic Academy in February, 2008.
Over the eight years they served Acton, Holway and Miso worked with area cities, towns, SWAT teams and special task forces. They located wanted fugitives, felons, fleeing suspects, children, special needs patients, and elderly citizens. Working closely with a HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Task Force they were involved in the seizure of hundreds of pounds of marijuana, kilos of cocaine, heroin, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in illicit drug money

Career and retirement

In their journey together, they received multiple certifications through the Boston Police Canine Academy, the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA), and the International Police Working Dog Association (IPWDA), along with other accolades. Officer Holway and Canine Miso were also honored as Employees of the Year by the town of Acton in 2013. Over the years they performed demonstrations for schools, camps, citizen police academies, and department youth police academies and educated the public on the capabilities and functions of a canine team.

Miso retired in October 2015 due to a shoulder injury, which occurred on duty and inhibited his physical abilities. In his retirement, Miso enjoyed a less strict diet, more treats, chasing chickens, his favorite toys, and just lounging in the grass. Shortly after Miso retired, Officer Holway transferred to the Ipswich Police Department to continue his law enforcement career.
For those of you who knew, worked with, trained with or ever heard Miso, he was as boisterous in his retirement as he was on the job.
As he aged, Degenerative Myelopathy (a nerve disorder which German Shepherds are prone to) started to take its toll. Although he still wanted to work every day, his body was no longer up for the task.

Thanks and recognition

Thanks, to all of the employees of the Acton Police Department, and to the cities, towns and task forces who called us over the years when you needed assists or mutual aid. It was a pleasure assisting and serving you. Thanks also to the owners and staff at Palmer Kennels who had the pleasure (or not) of boarding Miso over the years. Finally, a special thank you to the employees of the Ipswich police department for their support during this difficult time.

This program would not have been possible without the continued support of two generous donors:

Especially for Pets of Acton: Who donated food, the occasional toy, and discounts for Miso until he retired.
Great Road Veterinary Hospital: Dr. Jon Kelman and his remarkable staff who donated lifelong care and supplies over the last 11 years to Miso. Dr. Kelman’s passion, knowledge, expertise, and continued support kept Miso healthy and ready to serve his community and surrounding cities and towns. With his care, Miso lived a very long, happy, and healthy life.

To Miso

Thank you for being you. There was absolutely nothing you couldn’t do and you always made me look like I knew what I was doing. If I had trained you to drive, and some nights you tried, I would’ve been out of a job.

Rest in peace my friend.


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