Log In

Reset Password

Middlesex Township police dog dies

K-9 Mibo rests while working during the Pittsburgh Steelers game at Acrisure Staduim on Saturday. Officer Mark Heider/Submitted photo
Mibo remembered as a skilled member of department

Longtime police K-9 Mibo always was good at his job, Middlesex Township K-9 Officer Mark Heider said.

“He was automatic,” Heider said. “If I could teach him to drive and type, I would never have to show up for calls, he was that good. When we got there, he would know what to do and where to do it, he was that well-trained and versed and experienced.”

Mibo, who had been with Middlesex Township’s police department since 2015, died Aug. 14 of a “medical emergency,” according to the department.

A post on the department’s Facebook page described Mibo as “a great asset to the police department (and) to the community as well.”

Heider said that the emergency came on suddenly during the weekend and that he took Mibo to the Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center after coordinating with Dr. Janine Callen at Twinbrook Animal Clinic, his regular vet.

“It just (happened) on Sunday morning,” Heider said. “We actually worked the Steelers game as a Region 13 detail, and he was fine until breakfast on Sunday, and then he collapsed on me. We took him in, and he passed away when they were doing surgery.”

Mibo, a German shepherd/Belgian Malinois, was 9-and-a-half years old when he died, Heider said, and had been with the department since he was a little over 1 year old.

“He’s going to be sorely missed, both at work and at home,” Heider said. “They’re your partner, they’re there all the time. It’s pretty rough when he’s not there.”

Mibo and Heider were part of Region 13, an emergency task force that covers southwestern Pennsylvania. Mibo was trained in explosive and gun detection along with patrol duties.

Because Heider and Mibo worked around the region, Mibo was well-known among other departments. Heider said, his phone has been “blowing up” with people offering their condolences.

“We did a ton of details, and we backed up guys all the time,” he said. “Since we were part of that region group, we were everywhere. That's why I think there's such an outpouring — he was extremely well-known throughout western Pa.”

Middlesex Township is exploring the possibility of replacing Mibo, Heider said, but it is too early to make any major decisions.

Heider thanked community residents and businesses who had supported the K-9 program in the past, including Twinbrook Animal Clinic, Saxonburg Feed Company, Vested Interest in K-9s and Protection4Paws.

“He was well-supported,” Heider said. “They really got behind him, when we came over here, as well as the township. The township really just jumped both feet right in.”

Middlesex Township Officer Mark Heider and K-9 Officer Mibo in front of the K-9 Unit vehicle after an impromptu training session at Glade Run Lake on Thursday, May 27, 2021. Butler Eagle File Photo.
K-9 Mibo in front of Air Force One on Sept. 11, 2021 at a Secret Service detail at the Johnstown airport. Officer Mark Heider/Submitted photo
K9 officer Mibo in front of the Washington Monument for Police Week in Washington, DC in 2022. Officer Mark Heider/Submitted photo