Belgian malinois escaped yard, struck on Petaluma Hill Road; witnesses sought

The CHP is seeking help in finding the driver who struck and killed a Santa Rosa police dog last month in a hit-and-run.

Boz, an 8-year-old Belgian malinois, died Dec. 27 after getting loose from a fenced yard. He was hit on Petaluma Hill Road, south of the Santa Rosa city limits.

He was found on the road by his handler, Officer George Berg, who had been out looking for Boz.

The CHP is hoping witnesses to the hit-and-run will call CHP Officer Shawn Hopkins at 588-1400 with information that will lead to the suspect.

"It is a significant loss to the police department," Santa Rosa Police Lt. John Noland said.

The department pays between $15,000 and $20,000 for a canine and the training it takes to get the animal ready to start the job, Noland said. That cost doesn't include subsequent training and care, including monthly courses and veterinary bills.

Police officials were still investigating how Boz got loose.

"It's a fenced yard and sometimes dogs find their way over fences or under fences," Noland said.

Boz and Berg worked together for more than five years, responding to calls throughout Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. Boz helped find numerous suspects, often rousting them out of hiding spots or helping stop someone fleeing a crime scene, police said.

Boz was one of five Santa Rosa police dogs. The animals serve between five and eight years on the force and are all trained in drug detection, protection and apprehension.

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