Memorial held for Richland County K9 Arko

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – The Richland County Sheriff’s Department held a memorial was held for K9 Arko who passed away on November 5th at the age of 15.

K9 Arko was the face of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department K9 Unit. For eleven years Arko and his partner, Lt. Kevin Hoover would visit elementary schools, churches, and nursing homes. 

“Arko would lay there and let 500 kids come by and pet on him, get hair all over their clothes, and love on Arko,” said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott.

In 2018 Hoover and Arko retired. Hoover says Arko lived with him and his family until he died. “Arko was a full-service patrol dog. We’ve been in the woods and we’ve caught bad guys —  I mean he had the sense to tell me where a bad guy was because we’d caught him before. But he also had the sense to know when someone was a special-needs person and he’d change his behavior. He would do that even when he was retired and could barely walk.”

During the memorial, the sheriff and many deputies dedicated the K9 Training Room to Arko. A touching surprise to Hoover who says after spending every day with Arko they became close and became family. 

“When he started becoming ill and not being able to walk I made him a promise I wouldn’t give up on him,” said Hoover.

Arko will be remembered as a brave and friendly K9 devoted to service and the community. 



Categories: Local News, News, Richland