Madison PD mourning K-9 Maxx

Madison PD mourning K-9 Maxx


MADISON — The canine that served here for eight and a half years was remembered for being “fierce” and full of energy but also a loyal partner that was like a child to his former handler.

Former Madison PD K9 handler Paul Bunch was brought to tears when he had to put his long-time friend and partner Maxx down Monday due to medical complications.

“He was like my kid,” Bunch said. “There are a lot of tears and it tears your heart out of you. Very emotional. You don't want to do it but you know he had a good retirement.”

Bunch said Maxx, a Belgian Malinois, was a member of the family that includes his 12-year-old son Gunner, wife Leia and their Chihuahua Chuy.

Bunch said while they were partners he spent more time with Maxx than he did with his family.

“It was an honor for him to be my partner,” Bunch said. “He was such an amazing and unique K9.”

Maxx retired from MPD in August of last year after eight and a half years of service to the city.

“It is with a heavy heart that we report the passing of retired Police K9 Maxx,” A social media post from the Madison Police Department said. “He will be greatly missed.”

Bunch is now an investigator with the Mississippi Game Commission. He left the department after Maxx retired though he still lives in Madison with his family. 

Maxx was born in the Netherlands and trained in the United States, Bunch said. He said Maxx came into his life around 2013 when the dog was two years old and they began training.

“The first time I got him I was not ready for his intensity,” Bunch recalled. “He dragged me all over the house and over couches.”

Bunch said Maxx was fierce and could be something of a “wild child” when left to his own devices but around Bunch, Maxx was “regimented, structured, disciplined and loyal.” Bunch said those are traits for which the breed is known.

“That breed,” Bunch said. “All they want to do is work. He was never a pet. He never laid around. If I moved Maxx was ready to go. Those dogs are happiest when they are pleasing their handler or at work.”

During retirement, Maxx did begin to “simmer down” and might try to get in a chair with you Bunch said but the dog was always ready to go back to work.

Maxx enjoyed Chuy’s company and also became attached to Gunner. Bunch said a few years ago his son brought the dog to school to demonstrate how to train a dog. Bunch said his son led Maxx through some commands, which were all in Belgian.

One of Bunch’s favorite memories of his dog was watching Gunner, about seven at the time, throwing water balloons for Maxx to catch.

“They would pop and he would wonder where they went,” Bunch said with a chuckle.

During their time together. Bunch said they made more narcotics arrests than he could recount and that Maxx assisted in one apprehension during his time at MPD.

“He did a great service to the city of Madison.”

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