The Runnels County Sheriff's Office lost one of their own on Friday after “Yoie” the county's K-9 deputy died of cancer Friday, Feb. 24.

The Runnels County Sheriff’s Office lost one of their own on Friday after “Yoie” the county’s K-9 deputy died of cancer Friday, Feb. 24.

“Deputy Yoie worked with his owner and handler Deputy Dawn Sumrall,” Sheriff Carl Squyres said. “Their teamwork resulted in many arrests and narcotics seizures while working for the Sheriff’s Office.”

Sumrall acquired Yoie, a Shepherd Malinois cross, in 2009 at only two months. Yoie became a working member of the RCSO at only seven months old in December of 2009, after being certified by trainer Melinda Julian at the U.S. Tactical Canine Academy in Merkel.

Deputy Sumrall called Yoie a true friend and her “Velcro dog,” because wherever she was, Yoie was always right there, ready to go to work.

Sumrall, who has trained K-9s for the past 14 years, and Yoie was her third K-9.

“I guess the third time is the charm and for me that meant Yoie,” Sumrall said. “I put the sun in the sky for him every day.”

Sumrall said she found a lump on Yoie’s stomach in December and the dog was treated for an infection. Then in January another lump was found, and after an operation, it was determined that Yoie had cancer.

Yoie had a keen sense of smell, and could famously sniff out drugs, even down to a few marijuana seeds.

“I called him my seed finder,” Sumrall said.

Yoie once detected and located 27 grams of methamphetamine and sniffed out many other drugs including cocaine and marijuana.

Sumrall said that she and Yoie worked so well together that she never had to tell him what to do.

“He would just be where I needed him, like he heard my mind,” Sumrall said. “Such and awesome partner.”

Squyres, said Yoie was a vital part of the team at the RCSO and they also assisted in narcotics investigations in Coke, Coleman and Concho counties.

“Deputy Yoie loved the work and continued to work even after his diagnosis and up until shortly before his passing,” Squyres said.

Sumrall said she all he wanted to do was work, so she let him do that until Saturday, Feb. 18, when he officially retired.

“I let him work until I could not watch him anymore,” Sumrall said.

Sumrall has been training “Tarbfies” a two year old Belgian Malinois who is in line to become the next K-9 deputy at the RCSO.

She is training him and plans to have him certified at Combat K9 in San Antonio.

But for the RCSO, Yoie will definitely be a hard act to follow.

“The Runnels County Sheriff’s Office would like to say ‘thank you Yoie’ for your dedication to the office and service to the citizens of Runnels County,” Squyres said. “You will be missed. Rest in peace.”

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