After serving the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for more than five years, K-9 Windy retired effective July 10 due to an unforeseen medical illness, according to Sgt. Albert Martinez, public information officer.

K-9 Windy Retires Due to Medical Reasons

K-9 Windy and her partner, Deputy Robert Ochoa.

K-9 Windy began her service with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in May of 2014, at 7 weeks old.  K-9 Windy and her partner, Deputy Robert Ochoa, worked together as she became a hard-working and successful law enforcement trailing dog, according to Martinez.  Over the course of her short, five-year career, she has trailed countless miles from the mountains of Los Angeles County to the Desert of Riverside County, to the swamps of South Carolina, and everywhere in between.

K-9 Windy has located numerous suspects, has helped solve violent crimes and reunite families with their lost loved ones.  With almost 50 finds under her belt and countless investigative leads located, Windy found herself facing her greatest battle in February of this year.

During a training seminar in Orange County, K-9 Windy became ill and was rushed to California Veterinary Specialists in Murrieta where she met Dr. Lisa Prior (Internal Medicine).  Prior had a special connection with Windy as she had helped Windy on a search in the Ortega Mountains a year prior.

During the search, Prior was on horseback and helped locate the missing person. Prior put in countless hours to help Windy and was able to get her back on the road to recovery and back to work.  Once back at work, K-9 Windy hit the ground running, helping her patrol brothers and sisters locate four missing persons and one violent felon.

K-9 Windy

K-9 Windy

While on one of her searches, K-9 Windy became ill again but this time, with Valley Fever. Prior and her staff have been working to help Windy to fight this, the toughest battle yet.  With Windy facing multiple challenging illnesses, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is medically retired its four-legged hero so she can get the much-needed rest she needs to continue her fight for wellness.  Windy will be retiring to her handler’s home, where she will continue to be surrounded by the love and support of her family.  K-9 Windy would like to thank every one of you who have showed support, followed her on social media and loved on her while she was out serving her community.

The Riverside Sheriffs’ K9 Team was established in 1983. It currently has 28 dogs in service — 17 patrol, three narcotic, two corrections, four bomb and two bloodhounds, according to the team’s Facebook page.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Team has its own non-profit organization which takes care of retired canines; please click here to learn more about the organization. If you have any questions, please contact them at


Image Sources

  • K-9 Windy and: RSO
  • K-9 Windy: RSO
  • K-9 Windy: Riverside County Sheriff's Department