FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS) – It is with deep sorrow that the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office announced the death of one of its K-9s.

Sheriff Mike Fridley released the following information concerning this tragic event:

Waeylin, a two year-old Bloodhound, died suddenly and unexpectedly. He experienced a stomach disorder and was rushed to the Vet where he underwent emergency surgery. He survived the surgery, but died shortly afterwards, on Sunday, January 15, 2023.

Waeylin has been a member of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit since he was less than one year old. Whenever the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office responded to a crime scene where the suspect was unknown and had fled from the area, Waeylin was often called on to respond. He tracked down suspects in cases from arson to burglary, and even more.

Waeylin was also frequently called upon to track missing persons throughout not only Fayette County but in surrounding counties.

“Waeylin was like part of my family. When we weren’t out working, Waeylin would be playing or just hanging out with me. We were buddies and it was nice to have someone to talk to. He never talked back of course, but I swear he understood everything I said to him.”

Fayette County Corporal Ryan Fox

Most of the departments K-9s are multi-purpose dogs, trained in narcotics detection and tracking. Waeylin, however, was trained only in tracking.

Bloodhounds are a type of dog bred for tracking. They are unsurpassed in their ability to isolate the scent of a particular object or individual and follow this scent no matter where it may lead.

Waeylin was also a Public Relations Deputy for the Sheriff’s Office. With his big nose, huge floppy ears, drooping jowls and sad eyes, which were all typical Bloodhound characteristics, and his gentle and friendly disposition, Waeylin was an instant hit any time that the Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit performed a demonstration. Young children especially loved Waeylin, as he would sit or lie quietly as they petted and hugged him.

“Waeylin’s death is a tragic loss to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and to the citizens of Fayette County, but especially to Waeylin’s handler and partner, Corporal Ryan Fox. It’s a big loss to our department when we lose one of our K9s because the K9s can do the work of five to ten to fifteen deputy sheriffs when we’re out looking for someone. We are sincerely appreciative of the support shown to our K-9 Unit by the citizens of Fayette County over the past several years.  We will all greatly miss Waeylin.”

Fayette County Sherriff Mike Fridley

Fridley says there is currently no timeline for when the department will begin looking for another bloodhound to take Waeylin’s place.