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March 3 – Two years after a procession traveled through Duluth to honor the slain police dog Haas, law enforcement in the area did the same again on Saturday, this time for K-9 officer Luna.
The 3-year-old Dutch Shepherd joined the Duluth Police Department’s K-9 unit less than two years ago, just five months after her handler, Duluth police officer Aaron Haller, Haas lost his former K-9 partner would have. Both dogs were killed in response to reports of domestic violence.
An armed suspect, now identified as David Joseph Wayne Conwell, shot and killed Luna after Duluth police responded to a report of domestic violence in Lincoln Park Thursday night.
Previously, the domestic abuse suspect was shot dead after a stalemate in Duluth
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“She was really funny, very energetic, and well behaved,” said Hannah Hadland, who Luna met at an event.
Superior’s Hadland was one of about 100 people and about two dozen dogs who lined West Michigan Street in front of the Essentia Health Duluth Heritage Sports Center to see the start of the procession that began at the BluePearl Pet Hospital and ended in Fur-Ever Loved Pet Cremation Services in Scanlon.
Hadland took part in the procession with her own Dutch shepherd, Daisy, who sat and watched as more than 100 law enforcement and civil vehicles go by, including a hearse with Luna’s coffin.
The bark was the only sound driving down West Michigan Street as the motorcade passed.
Many, like 10-year-old West Lancour from Duluth, had signs in their hands thanking Luna for her service.
“We want to show appreciation for Luna and support the police,” said Lancour.
Dawn and William Midbrod, both from Two Harbors, were watching from the Lincoln Park Kwik Trip parking lot with their St. Bernard.
“Luna is a police officer. We care a lot about our law enforcement. You do so much to protect our community,” said Dawn Midbrod.
The story goes on
Kia Vann of Lincoln Park expressed condolences to Officer Haller.
“I cannot imagine being a dog owner who will protect me and lose my dog twice,” said Vann.
Fire trucks parked on Interstate 35 outside of Duluth adorn the procession.
More supporters lined the streets in Scanlon. After arriving at the cremation center, officer Haller and his family stood around an open coffin as uniformed police officers and others paid their respects. The public watched from the street above. A bouquet of flowers and a rawhide bone lined the coffin.
One person fought back tears as they stroked Luna through the blanket she was covered with.
“She was a great dog,” Haller told the News Tribune in 2019. “At home she’s very capable of turning the switch off. She’s very good with the kids and the wife – she’s basically a lap dog. But at work she’s total.” different.”
According to the Northland K-9 Foundation, Luna leaves four other canine officers with the Duluth Police Department: Hondo and Riggs, both Dutch shepherds, and Kallie, a black Labrador retriever, and Vili, a mix of Belgian Malinois and Dutch shepherds.
In January, Duluth police announced that Athena, a half-sister of K-9 Luna, would join the force after completing her training.
This story originally contained outdated information from the Northland K-9 Foundation website. It was last updated with the correct K-9 names on March 2nd at 1:20 pm. The News Tribune regrets the mistake.