Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, March 07, 2011

BPD says So Long to Sunny

03-07-10 BPD says So Long to Sunny

    Boise, March 7, 2011 - Boise Police are saddened to report that Sunny, a Labrador Retriever who served eight years as a BPD/ATF explosives detection dog was put down last Thursday after age related issues began taking a toll on her health. Sunny made many friends within the department, among her colleagues and trainers, and was loved by her handler and his family. She will be greatly missed.

    Sunny was as good natured as she was hard working. As a police service dog, she may be best remembered as a dog who answered the call just when her country needed her.

    On 9-11, 2001, Sunny was one of just a handful of explosives detection dogs deployed to local police agencies and trained by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Her sensitive nose was in high demand as explosives detection dogs were immediately called to protect and defend against further attacks feared at airports and high profile events.

    Sunny and her handler, Officer Robert Toffelmier, who is also a BPD bomb technician, were reassigned to the Boise Airport immediately following 9-11. Sunny and Officer Toffelmier were recruited to provide security at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, just four months later, and for the National Governor's Conference held in Boise in July, 2002. Following 9-11, Sunny and her BPD handler also worked to ensure security on major transportation systems like the Seattle Ferries, and worked dignitary protection details including President Clinton, President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other foreign and national government officials. Sunny and Officer Toffelmier also contributed to the security services at high profile events like the 2004 Democratic National Convention in New York City and the 2005 Super Bowl in Houston.

    Sunny and Officer Toffelmier trained at the ATF canine training center at Fort Royal, Virginia in 1999 following an agreement between the Boise Police Department and the ATF. The agreement brought the explosives dog to Boise to provide services free of charge to the city, in return for being available for ATF services when needed. All travel was paid for by the ATF.

    During her service, Sunny assisted with dozens of searches for BPD and local agencies, including weapon recovery searches, bomb threats and explosive evidence searches. She also provided service for the FBI, Secret Service, US Coast Guard and the ATF throughout Idaho, Montana, Utah, Washington, Virginia, Florida and Nevada.

    Police Service Dogs live with their handlers, and Sunny's handler says besides being a top-notch explosives finder, she was a great family dog. She enjoyed camping with the Toffelmeir family, including their four children. Sunny actually learned to swim during one of her first family vacations to Red Fish Lake when Officer Toffelmeir jumped in the lake with Sunny and swam beside her until she got the hand of it.

    We all wish Sunny never ending lakes, tall trees and green pastures, a fluffy dog bed and big bowls of her favorite snacks. She deserves them.