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Dep. Zeller remembers his K9 partner Viper

READ MORE: Dep. Zeller remembers his K9 partner Viper

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office is grieving after losing a dedicated K-9 this weekend during a drug investigation.

According to the Sheriff's Office the Drug Enforcement Unit was investigating in the Ash area around 7:30 p.m. Saturday when K-9 Viper, a Belgian Malinous, and his handler Dep. Jared Zeller were called out to help search for a large amount of cocaine.

When they found the drugs, Viper bit through the plastic wrap and the tape surrounding the two-pound package of cocaine, which led to a severe reaction from ingesting it. Viper was taken to to a veterinary hospital in Southport, where he was pronounced dead.

Zeller says he and Viper were more than just partners.

"They come home with us," said Zeller. "They interact with us. He was a member of my family.

He says Viper's final act of service was a testament to how much the canines do for the community.

"They can find that lost child that's in the woods that we couldn't find," said Zeller. "They can smell the odor of narcotics inside a car or inside a home."

He and Viper would train for six hours every week to keep them as sharp as possible. They were hardly ever separated during their time together and he says things just won't be the same.

"I think the hardest thing is going to be when I go back to work, not putting him in the car, not having him ride around with me," said Zeller. "It's going to be tough."

There will be a memorial service in Viper's honor Tuesday morning at 11 a.m. at the Sheriff's Office in Bolivia.

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Hello Mr. Guest123 I

Hello Mr. Guest123

I apologize and I misspoke as I meant to say ingest or inhale the drugs. Is that better Good Buddy?

Rest Easy <3

My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Zeller and the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office.

People get killed everyday

People get killed everyday and your thoughts and prayers go out to a dog, get real. I don't care if it was a police dog, it was still just a dog. All this talk of giving people the same punishment for hurting police dogs just the same as an actual police officer is just ridiculous.

Oh is that right?

Oh is that right? How many drug labs have YOU broken up lately? How many missing people have YOU discovered? How many lives have YOU saved?

My point is that K-9 Viper was an invaluable member of the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office. He served and protected the citizens of Brunswick County, as well as his own handler and fellow deputies. He died in the performance of his duties and may have even saved a few deputies that day because of his own sacrifice. I'm sure he was "just a dog" to you. But he was much more to those who knew and served with him. His memory deserves to be treated with respect. This "dog" served more, gave more, protected more than most civilians living in Brunswick County, or any other county for that matter.

Your attitude

Your attitude toward citizens is typical. To state that a dog is more worthy than most citizens is typical of your socialist police order where you all, including faeces eating dog, are brothers. You do not realize it but you sound just like workers in a Cuban cigar factory.

The cow that was sent to the slaughter house and fed 1000 people did more for humanity than Viper ever did.

The police have shot thousands of dogs belonging to citizens who were just doing their duty of protecting their owners. many instances of the cops smashing in the door and shooting the family dog. Just like they did to Blaze, Peyton Strickland's dog.

Captn Billy you are right

that was a great post. We are living in a socialist police state to a point and will get worse and worse because of these badge hags that worship them. Wait until the day they have no more freedom and they will be the ones crying, help me.
Just because you hang a badge around a dogs neck does not nake him an officer. Set him in a car by himself and walk away and see how much crime he can bust up, answer NONE.
Now as far as me posting on here about bad cops sorry you goobers have no defense against it. They are rampant and you will not admit it because as one poster put it you ARE badge whores. Did you read where the NCSHP officer tazered a man to death or the one that hit and killed a man walking in Elizabeth City just yesterday? For every bad guy you can post I can find one bad cop to post right along with it, wanna try, go ahead.Like Clint Eastwood said MAKE MY DAY....

Frick and Fraak

You (Frick) and Captn Billy (Fraak) deserve each other. You were both made from the same mold. Tell me, can you have a decent thought without building off of someone else's post?

You know, thinking is what a great many people think they are doing when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.

By the way, in case you missed it, I'm not a cop. You shouldn't jump to makes you look like an a** when the truth comes out. But then again, if the shoe fits....


I'm not a cop. I'm just a citizen who admires them for putting their lives on the line everyday.

You, on the other hand, sound like a snot-nozed wanna be college student, who can't quite cut it, and who figures if he can't convince them, confuse them. From your post, it sounds like Mommy and Daddy wasted their hard earned money.

Viper was hard working,

Viper was hard working, playful, loyal, and loving. I doubt you have all those virtues. So shut-up!

Just a dog......

Hey Joe, the canines that went into the twin towers on and after 9/11...were they just dogs? The canines that find missing children and drugs that could kill one of your children...are they just dogs? You have no class.

People actually get punished

People actually get punished more for hurting a police animal (dog or horse) than a police officer.

Yes Mr. Truth, I do realize

Yes Mr. Truth, I do realize this and that's actually crazy to do so, but we seem to value animal life over human life these days.

Have a great day.

Joe, I have been reading and

Joe, I have been reading and following your posts. I am not going to call you names nor am I going to tell you that your opinion is wrong, however, I would like to pose a question. Did you stop to think that just because you think Officer Viper is "just a dog", he wasn't so much more to so many more? Why must you get on here and post such hateful things. I'm sure everyone has an opinion and I have read several on here, however, I do believe opinions are like a-holes, everyone has one and they usually stink! You said in this comment that we value animal life over human life, did it occur to you that maybe it's because of the insensitive, disrespectful nature in which we as humans treat one another? Deputy Zeller and his family, as well as the BCSO are in mourning right now for the loss of one of their own. It is not my place nor is it your place to pass judgement or try to scrutinize how they handle the grieving process. Why must you try to demean them by posting such hateful things? Just saying.....

After reading your posts

After reading your posts, I can see why.

RE: People get killed everyday

Maybe someone will think that, if something should happen to you, and or, possibly someone in your family, and they needed the dog to help find someone of your family. He was just a dog, how could he help them, and hopefully lot's of people, I would hope, would ask the same question about you? Those dogs are family, and protect the officer they are with, at all expense, and will not question why. How many people do you know that would do this?

Thank you! I totally agree.

Thank you! I totally agree.


It is really unfortunate that this country is populated by so many idiots.

Since we are- I would like to nominate "Joe" for the "Idiot of the month" award.

Maybe next time he wanders into the forest and gets lost, there will not be a trained dog to rescue him.