Officer Joering’s K9 partner attends vigil in Centerburg

CENTERBURG, OH (WCMH) – So many people have asked about Officer Eric Joering’s K9 partner, Sam, wondering how he is doing.

Sam was in the back of Officer Joering’s police cruiser during the shooting. He wasn’t hurt.

Sam’s original trainer got him from the shooting scene that day. He says Sam was scared and shaken up.

Despite being off duty, Sam is still helping people.

Dozens of people packed a firehouse in Centerburg Monday in honor of Officer Joering, including his wife, three girls and Sam.

Mike Pennington, Sam’s original trainer, says Sam is hurting. Despite his pain, he has traded in his K9 badge for the title of therapy dog, bringing comfort to Officer Joering’s children.

A vigil in Centerburg Monday night was all about sharing memories of Officer Joering and remembering the family he left behind.

“Our concern right now is the family making sure that the family wants for nothing,” said Westerville Police Cpl. Aaron Dickison.

Joering was a mentor to Dickison.

“Me and Eric met the day before, Friday,” said Dickison “Eric made the ultimate sacrifice and had to make sure I was prepared to do the same thing.”

Dickison said Joering was born to be a police officer and died doing what he loved.

“I’m telling you he didn’t think twice he acted and he saved people’s lives that day and people need to remember that,” said Dickison.

Sam is currently staying with his original training partner. He says he’s doing okay, but his heart is broken too.

Ultimately, Officer Joering’s family can choose to keep the dog. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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