Died – 10/26/18
Handler – Officer Larry Maraldo
Monongahela police K-9 Beny dies unexpectedly
Monongahela police are mourning the unexpected death of a 10-year veteran of the department after K-9 Beny died Friday morning, just after completing the midnight shift with his partner, Officer Larry Maraldo. Chief Brian Tempest said Maraldo noticed about halfway through the shift that the 12-year-old German shepherd was becoming lethargic. “He started making calls to veterinary facilities about the end of his shift,” Tempest said of Maraldo. “They went home, and about 9 a.m., Beny stopped breathing.” Monongahela police got Beny in July 2008 through a grant from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation.“We thought it would be a good idea to name him ‘Beny,’ given how were able to get him,” Tempest said. Beny specialized in drug detection. He and Maraldo trained with the City of Pittsburgh K-9 unit. Two years ago, Beny had to undergo emergency surgery when his back legs became paralyzed. He underwent surgery on his spinal column to repair one of his discs. Beny was off duty for almost two months, and for much of that time had to remain motionless for 23½ hours a day. The community had fundraisers such as bake sales and placed donation jars throughout the city to raise the $6,000 needed for his medical care.Maraldo said at that time Beny must have become angry about being left at home during his convalescence because he would chew things up in the family’s home, something he had never done before. “Beny still liked coming to work,” Tempest said. The chief said Beny’s death caught them by surprise. He said they had started to think about getting another K-9 for the department. “But this has hit us hard,” Tempest said. “Getting a new dog is not something we want to even think about at this point.” Tempest said there will be a small service in Beny’s honor at noon Monday at city hall.