Retired Ohio Sheriff and Smallest K-9 Partner in the World Died Hours Apart of Each Other

Monica Otayza
Apr 21, 2021
04:30 A.M.
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Retired Ohio Sheriff Dan McClelland and his K-9 partner Midge die just hours apart from each other. Now, the partners will be laid to rest together. 


Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland died at 67 after a tough battle with cancer on Wednesday, and just a couple of hours later, his K-9 partner Midge died at 16. McClelland died in the hospital while his dog passed away peacefully at home. 

According to his family, the sheriff and his companion will be buried together. McClelland worked at the Geauga County Sheriff's Office for 44 years, while he worked alongside his K-9 companion Midge for a decade before they retired together in 2016. 


Midge, a Chihuahua-rat terrier mix, was a drug-sniffing dog. In 2006, she received a Guinness World Records title for being the smallest police dog in the world. This made her a local celebrity in their county. 

A Salisbury Police Department officer received backlash on the internet after seemingly abusing his K-9 partner.

K-9 security professional checking a vehicle with a trained sniffer dog. | Photo: Getty Images


According to McClelland's successor, Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand, the late sheriff would even joke that his dog was more famous than him in their town. Remembering a conversation they once had, he said

"He used to joke that people would see him in a parade in a car and would say, 'hey, there's Midge and whatshisname.'"


Ohio Governor Mike DeWine paid tribute to the late officers on Saturday, remembering when he worked alongside McClelland while the politician was Attorney General. He claimed that Midge was always nearby while they were working. 

Although some Chihuahuas are notorious for being fierce creatures, Midge was a lovable companion who did everything she could to help McClelland fulfill his duties. In fact, her loyalty showed until the very last day of her life, for them to stay together even after they've passed. 


Recently, a Salisbury Police Department officer received backlash on the internet after seemingly abusing his K-9 partner by flinging him over his shoulder before carrying him into a car. People demanded the officer in question be fired after the incident. 

The department's police chief, Jerry Stokes, assured the public that an investigation is ongoing regarding the incident. Aside from their own internal investigation, a third-party agency is also looking into what transpired. 

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