K9s ‘Cerik’ and ‘Mato’ retire from Lenoir Police Department


(left) K9 Mato (right) Cerik

LENOIR, N.C. — K9s ‘Cerik’ and ‘Mato’ retired from the Lenoir Police Department on Tuesday night. 

Lenoir City Council thanked the animals and handlers for their service. The dogs will spend their retirement living with their handlers and families.

Police Chief Brent Phelps said Cerik and Mato have been valuable members of the department and will be missed.

“I’m proud of the work these two handlers have put in with these two K9s,” Chief Phelps said. “And I’m proud of all our handlers for the work in running our K9 program for the department and City of Lenoir.”

K9 Cerik was born in January 2011 in the Czech Republic. He started his career with the Lenoir Police Department in October 2011. Cerik is the youngest dog to certify with the agency at only 11 months old. During his career, Cerik had a total of three handlers. Sgt. Nathaneal Blache has been Cerik’s handler since March 2016.

K9 Mato was born in the Czech Republic in December 2011. He came to serve with the department in December 2012. Corporal Justin Reid has been Mato’s only handler.

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