Payette police K-9 Lily retires to normal dog life

Former Payette Police Department drug detection K-9 Lily, as seen in this Oct. 7 photo. Lily served the department for six years, but is now retiring into the care of her handler, Capt. Randall Yates, due to her declining health.

PAYETTE — Having proven herself loyal to her team over her six-year-long career, one member of the Payette Police Department’s force is now set to retire. Drug detection dog Lily is leaving the force, having been deemed surplus by the Payette City Council during its regular meeting Oct. 4.

In his agenda request to declare Lily surplus dated Sept. 20, former police chief John Plaza commended Lily on her accomplishments on the force.

“We have had Lily since 2015 and she has been an outstanding member of our department in detecting illegal drugs in Payette and the surrounding areas. She is approximately 12 years old,” Plaza wrote in his request. “She is getting older and has some health issues which makes this a good time to take such action.”

New Chief Gary Marshall echoed Plaza’s sentiment, in his comments during the meeting.

“She’s made a lot of seizures for us over the years; drug seizures, money seizures, vehicles. But her health is declining pretty quickly at this point,” said Marshall. “Capt. [Randall] Yates is the handler. He was telling me just the other day that she tried to jump on her bed and completely missed the bed, because she can’t see anymore.”

Marshall said Yates’ family already considers Lily their pet.

“That’s where we’d like to see her go,” he said.

Resolution 2021-14 was adopted to facilitate Lily’s retirement. It reads, in part, “It is the policy of the Payette Police Department to recommend the donation of a retired canine to the handler to allow the canine who has served as a valuable member of the Department to remain and live out the remainder of their days in familiar surroundings.”

Councilor Mike Kee moved to approve this resolution and release Lily into Yates’ care, seconded by Councilor Daniel Lopez. The voice vote to approve was unanimous, 6-0.

Funds to acquire Lily’s successor have been allocated for the department in the city’s 2022 fiscal year budget.

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