The Cache County Sheriff’s Department lost a member of its K9 team this week when one of its dogs somehow ingested foxtail weed seeds and died.

Storm, a 2-year-old Malinois who joined the department in 2018, died during surgery Wednesday morning.

According to police, the dog and his handler attended a public event on Tuesday night, demonstrating the animal’s skills. But by Wednesday morning, “our K9 deputy noticed a change in behavior in Storm, and he was taken to a local veterinarian to be examined.”

The veterinarian discovered “a lot of fluid around” Storm’s lungs and in his chest. The dog was transferred to a veterinarian in the Salt Lake area, and it was “determined Storm had inhaled or ingested Foxtail weeds.”

(Photo courtesy Cache County Sheriff's Department) Storm, a Cache County police dog, died after somehow ingesting Foxtail weed seeds.

Foxtail, a grass-like weed, has barbed seeds. According to, the seeds “can work their way into any part of your dog or cat, from the nose to between the toes and inside the ears, eyes and mouth. They can even simply dig themselves directly into a patch of skin. ... Because these tough seeds don’t break down inside the body, an embedded foxtail can lead to serious infection for your dog. It can even lead to death.”

(Photo courtesy of Cache County Sheriff's Office) Pet owners should check their pets skin, hair, inside the ears and nose, and around the mouth and teeth of their pets for foxtail weed.
(Photo courtesy of Cache County Sheriff's Office) A Utah police dog died after ingesting foxtail weed, a common plant in Utah.

Storm did not survive surgery to remove the infection in his chest.

A memorial service for Storm will be held in the near future; details are pending.