K-9 Maya Receives A Heartfelt Farewell From Her Fellow Officers


With every police department, K-9 officers stand as irreplaceable and invaluable assets. Their unique ability to track, detect, and provide unwavering support makes them an integral part of law enforcement. 

Among these dedicated canine officers, German Shepherd Maya has emerged as not only a highly-skilled officer, but also as a beloved member of the UW-Madison police family. 

After ten years of dedicated service, it was finally time for Maya to retire, but not before her fellow officers threw a party in her honor.  

Sweet Princess, Maya

two officers shaking hands
Source: UW-Madison Police Department

June 16th, 2023 was a bittersweet day for the UW-Madison Police Department, in Wisconsin, as it was K-9 Maya’s last day ‘on duty’. 

“After 10 incredible years of service, she’s retiring. Maya — THANK YOU for your countless hours of work. Your tireless efforts kept hundreds of thousands people safe…here on campus and beyond. Enjoy retirement, sweet Maya!! 😭,” the UWPD wrote on their Facebook. 

K-9 Maya joined the UW-Madison PD in June 2013 and was partnered with Sgt. Nic Banuelos. She trained in explosive detection and human tracking, and according to her police family, she did a remarkable job throughout her career. 

She was very loved by her police family and friends, so her last day before retirement simply couldn’t pass without a huge party in her honor. 

dog maya standing between two officers
Source: UW-Madison Police Department

Everyone came together to celebrate this beautiful girl and all the amazing work she had done, as well as give her one last goodbye. 

room full of people sitting on chairs
Source: UW-Madison Police Department

Maya looked very happy with all the attention she was receiving, and deep down, I think she knew that the life of fighting crime and serving the community was behind her. 

She was even crowned with a tiara like the true princess that she is. The tiara was just a small symbol of all the hard work she had done and their way of saying ‘thank you, Maya’. 

photo of dog maya with an officer
Source: UW-Madison Police Department

“During her time at UWPD, K9 Maya had more than 370 calls for service and protected countless dignitaries, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the President of the United States,” the UW–Madison Police Department posted. 

She had not only accomplished a lot during her career, but more importantly, she had captured the hearts of everyone who came in contact with her. 

An Unexpected End 

K-9 dog maya
Source: UW-Madison Police Department

I wish I could say that Maya is blissfully enjoying her retirement with the Banuelos family, but sadly, that is not the case. 

Only a month after her official retirement, Maya became gravely ill. 

“It is with profound sadness that we share news of the sudden passing of retired K9 Maya. Maya recently became gravely ill – and on Friday, July 21, 2023, surrounded by her family, she passed away,” the police department said in their statement.  

Just when it was time for her to finally enjoy being just a dog, her little life was taken way too soon, but we are comforted with the fact that she is hopefully resting happily in doggy paradise. 

In honor of K-9 Maya, her police department organized one final salute to a loyal officer. Various departments took part in this processional. 

One of Maya’s coworkers shared her beautiful goodbye to this sweet girl: 

“I looked forward to our morning “meetings” in my cube and was looking forward to giving you treats all of the time! You brought me so much joy through some very tough times last year and I’ll forever be thankful for your unconditional love ❤️ Your family in Blue will take it from here sweet girl. 💙💔💙💔💙”

Fly high, sweet girl, you will be missed. 

police officer and dog maya at a football field
Source: UW-Madison Police Department