Juma’s last call

By Larry Tucker
Posted 2/17/21

It was a solemn and sad day in Wood County last Thursday. Wood County Canine Officer Juma took her last ride.

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Juma’s last call


It was a solemn and sad day in Wood County last Thursday. Wood County Canine Officer Juma took her last ride.

Law enforcement officers from throughout East Texas and local county employees bid good-bye to the decorated Officer Juma. Juma and Precinct 2 Constable Kelly Smith were partners since 2018 and were the source for numerous drug busts and fugitive tracking successes in Wood County and East Texas. 

Juma was born in Hungary and donated by K9 Officers and Houston K-9 Academy. K-9 Officers is a non-profit organization providing canines, training for handlers and equipment to donate to various law enforcement agencies. Juma even graced the front cover of the world-wide “K-9 Cop Magazine” for police and military working dog handlers in the February/March 2020 issue. 

Juma’s last ride began Thursday on the west side of the Wood County courthouse, traveled to Mineola where students there could say good-bye, and continued to a Lindale veterinarian facility where she was put to rest.

Constable Smith appreciated the turnout for Juma.

“I was so impressed with the response from the community,” he said. “We also have gotten messages from Australia, Scotland and South Africa. Everybody was impressed with the turnout for Juma. There were people standing outside, on the road, freezing all the way to Lindale. I was thankful for the outpouring of support from other local canine officers and from around the world.”

At exactly 10:30 a.m., the voice of Wood County Dispatcher Kari Robertson came over the public address system with words to honor Juma.

“Canine Officer Juma, thank you for all your hard work and for making sure your handler got home safely every night. She served honorably from September 2018 to Sept. 11, 2020. Canine Officer Juma was responsible for hundreds of arrests for narcotics. She was known for her personality. She had over 95,000 followers worldwide and is responsible for bringing canine efforts to the forefront in Wood County. She loved spending time with her family. Rest in peace sweet girl, and we will see you again in heaven someday.”

In addition to drug busts and tracking successes, she led to the county seizing thousands of dollars in stolen items ranging from electronics to vehicles.

She also helped bring to justice drug dealers and drug manufacturers in Wood County. Juma was also a star when visiting children in Wood County schools where she was adored by many. 

Juma was forced to retire in September due to the onset of Addison’s disease. The disease caused her to lose weight and become unable to walk or eat. In her last days, she was barely able to raise her head. 

Constable Smith and his family tried all they could with medications and vitamins, but Juma would not get better. The family made the heart-wrenching decision to end her suffering.

Juma’s last ride ended last Thursday in Lindale. She will be remembered for her dedication to her job and her handler, Constable Smith, and to the people, not only of Wood County, but from around the world.