Acclaimed O’Fallon police dog Rex retires

Rex, a top-rated O’Fallon, Mo., K-9 who won regional trials in 2004, 2005 and 2007, has retired from the police department.

Rex, 9, retired last week after serving the department since 2001. The German shepherd is a native of the Czech Republic who won the U.S. Police Canine Association’s Regional Police Dog Trials three times after suffering a severe back injury that should have ended his career. Rex hurt his back in 2003 when he jumped through a barbed wire fence while chasing down a burglary suspect.

At one point in his career, Rex was ranked the No. 7 police dog in the United States.

In 2004, Rex was recognized for tracking the catching a car thief. That year, he also helped seize $200,000 in drug money during a single arrest on the highway.

Rex’s partner is Officer Keith Lewis, who is taking Rex home to live with him and his family.

On Thursday, the O’Fallon City Council held a brief retirement ceremony recognizing Rex.

“He saved my life on two occasions,” said Lewis, Rex’s handler. “I would not have been here without him.”

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