FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office is mourning the sudden passing of one of its K-9 deputies.

According to the Fayette County Sheriff Mike Fridley, Waeylin, a two-year-old bloodhound, died unexpectedly Sunday night, Jan. 15, 2023. Waeylin had served the FCSO since before he turned a year old, Fridley said.

Sheriff Fridley says Waeylin “experienced a stomach disorder” and was rushed to a veterinarian to undergo an emergency surgery. The sheriff’s office says while Waeylin survived the surgery, he passed shortly after.

“Waeylin’s death is a tragic loss to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and to the citizens of Fayette County, but especially to Waeylin’s handler and partner, Corporal Ryan Fox,” said Fridley. “We are sincerely appreciative of the support shown to our K-9 Unit by the citizens of Fayette County over the past several years. We will all greatly miss Waeylin.”

Waeylin was trained as a tracking dog and served his community by responding to crime scenes where the suspect had fled, tracking down suspects in arsons, burglaries, and other cases. He also helped locate missing persons in Fayette and surrounding counties.

According to Fridley, Waeylin was also an excellent Public Relations Deputy and was an “instant hit” with the community, especially the young children, anytime he was with the FCSO K-9 unit for a demonstration, and sat quietly for kids to pet and hug him.

Fayette County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Waeylin (Photo Courtesy: FCSO)

The sheriff’s office says he will be remembered for his gentle and friendly disposition, and his partner, Corporal Ryan Fox, says his partner and buddy were like family.

“Waeylin was like part of my family,” said Fox. “When we weren’t out working, Waeylin would be playing or just hanging out with me. We were buddies, and it was nice to have someone to talk to. He never talked back of course, but I swear he understood everything I said to him.”