By: Don Shaw email: (570) 543-2961

South Central Pennsylvania Search-and-Rescue Team loses smallest member

South Central Pennsylvania Search-and-Rescue Team loses smallest member

York, PA

South Central PA Search and Rescue announced the loss of a K9 member of their team this morning. The following statement was released.

SCPASAR looses a dear friend… K9 Thunder passed away and left a legacy in his wake… Thoughts and Prayers to K9 Handler Michelle and to all who knew Thunder and the lives he touched… Remembering our K9 Thunder…

“RIP Thunder 
This Valentine’s Day, my sweet love Thunder took his last breath.Thunder and his two sisters were born June 11, 2005 in Gardnerville, NV to Rusty and Princess Leah (see parent photo in comments). Thunder joined our family at 11 weeks old. My husband wanted a Golden Retriever, but I wanted a small dog, so we compromised on a golden Cocker Spaniel.

Thunder travelled to 19 states, experiencing mountains, forests, deserts, and the beach. In 2006, Thunder earned AKC “Canine Good Citizen” status. He was a registered Therapy Dog from 2012 to 2018, bringing joy to his many friends at Penn-Mar group homes, and listening to Special Ed students read to him at Lincoln Way Elementary.

Thunder advanced to Level 3 in his favorite sport, Nosework. He went on to become the smallest member of the South Central Pennsylvania Search-and-Rescue Team.

I am grateful to Thunder’s vet at Healing Creatures, who detected his splenic mass before it ruptured. This condition often goes undetected in dogs, and causes them to die suddenly – and traumatically — from massive internal bleeding. Thunder never felt any pain before he died: He was active and happy until the end. During his euthanasia service, he smiled and kissed us, as we cried.

Thanks to Peaceful Pet Passage for meeting us at John Rudy Park, one of Thunder’s favorite places, where he modelled for the Canine Meadows calendar and won two gold medals at Dog Olympics. In his final hour, Thunder went to the dog park, ate a bag of treats, and walked the trail that led him to eternal paradise.

In Heaven, Thunder joins his beloved cats and his friends Alaska and Max. He will rest in peace, in the care of his Guardian Angel, who passed 13 years and 1 day prior.

Thank you to everyone who reached out and cried with me during Thunder’s last days. Thunder touched a lot of people, and that makes me so proud of him. Please continue to share your photos and memories, as they bring me great comfort.

In honor of Thunder, please do something loving each day, so that his spirit may live. And, if you have a pet, give them extra treats tonight because Thunder sure loved treats and he would be thrilled if all pets got more.

Thunder – I love you. You were my loyal companion for the majority of my adult life, and you helped me through some of my toughest times. My home and my life will be so empty without you. I will always remember your smile and the way you stared at me from across the room like I was the love of your life.”


Photo credit South Central PA Search and Rescue