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Dan McClelland, 67, with his beloved chihuahua-rat terrier cross Midge
A crime-fighting pooch who was known as the smallest police dog in the world died just hours after the sheriff she worked beside for several years.
Dan McClelland, 67, died in hospital in Geauga County, Ohio, on Wednesday, after being treated for cancer. Hours later, his beloved chihuahua-rat terrier cross Midge, 16, passed away.
Midge spent 10 years serving with the Geauga County force, alongside her owner, before the pair retired in 2016 to go travelling around the country, along with McClelland’s wife.
When Midge joined the police in 2006, she entered the Guinness World Records by becoming the smallest police dog in the world.
During her time with the force, Midge apparently became so well known in the area that residents would often remember her over her owner.
Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand said: “He (McClelland) used to joke that people would see him in a parade in a car and would say, ‘Hey, there’s Midge and whatshisname’.
“I think she was more popular than him.”
Lt John Hiscox added: “It was like bringing Elvis Presley to the midway.”
Unlike other larger dogs, Midge’s size meant she had no problem searching underneath vehicles and was able to sleep on her owner’s lap as he sat at his desk.
Sheriff Dan McClelland and Midge in 2006
Another benefit is that she would not tear the upholstery of a car or leave muddy paw prints while on drug raids.
McClelland served as sheriff for 13 years and spent 44 with the force in total.
Mr Hildenbrand added: “He spent 44 years protecting people in this county and, quite frankly, he loved his job, every minute of it.”
McClelland’s family said the former sheriff and his dog will be buried together. Rest in peace.