NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. – While tributes continue to pour in following Roy Halladay’s sudden death in a plane crash, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office says the MLB all-star pitcher’s legacy lives on through one of its members.
In 2016, Halladay and his family donated about $10,000 to the department for the purchase of a canine. The sheriff’s office aptly named the yellow lab "Doc," a nickname previously coined for Halladay in reference to Wild West gunslinger "Doc" Holliday.
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, in a press conference Tuesday, became emotional when discussing what Halladay meant to the community and in particular the sheriff’s office.
“Roy meant a lot to the Sheriff’s office,” Nocco said on Tuesday. “He was one of the most humble human beings you’ll ever meet. K-9 Doc is out there working and saving lives.”
Deputy Brian Hernandez is "Doc’s" handler. Hernandez and his K-9 Doc have been working the streets of Pasco since March 2016, according to the sheriff’s office website.
Halladay even signed the "Doc's" collar.
Hernandez says "‘Doc’" represents Halladay’s commitment to his community.
"I think he wanted to make the community better," Hernandez said. "One, by getting drugs off the streets, which is what we do. But also make everyone’s days brighter. That’s what Doc does.”
“K9 Doc enjoys ice cubes and loves anything that bounces,” his bio on the website reads. “K9 Doc is Pasco’s friendliest K9, who loves attention from people and enjoys shaking paws.”
However, Halladay’s love for animals and involvement in the community didn’t end with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
For the volunteers at the Suncoast Animal League in Palm Harbor, the all star athlete was best known for being an all star foster dad to *hundreds of rescue pets.
Rick Chaboudy, the league’s director, said Halladay and his wife, Brandy, would volunteer to take in nearly every pregnant dog they received to raise her and her puppies until they could be adopted out.
"There’s all the highlight film—his no hitters, perfect game—but the picture I remember the most was @RoyHalladay ... walking down his driveway, pulling a little red wagon behind with nine 6-week-old puppies in it," said Rick Chaboudy at @SunAnimalLeague. @10NewsWTSP pic.twitter.com/yESICXKoF2— Josh Sidorowicz (@joshsidorowicz) November 8, 2017
"There’s not a lot of people who would do something like that, or is capable of doing something like that, and they did it almost every single time," Chaboudy said. "You would’ve never known. He never brought it up, but he just made himself available.”
Chaboudy also said Halladay never hesitated to fly to nearby states to rescue sick animals in need, making several trips over the years.
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