Popular retired Twinsburg CERT canine, Chogan, dies

April Helms
Akron Beacon Journal

TWINSBURG -- Chogan, Twinsburg's recently retired Community Emergency Response Team canine, died May 15. 

The black German shepherd, who had been a common sight around Twinsburg, retired in July 2020 after seven years of service. James Zammikiel, Chogan's handler, said that the canine had developed arthritis in his front shoulders and spine, but "decided the growth on his jaw was the final sign that it was time for his last trip to the vet." 

The Twinsburg CERT posted the news on Facebook on Monday.

"We are sad to report that Chogan, longtime member and mascot for Twinsburg CERT has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge," the post stated. "Chogan and his handler Jamie Zammikiel were very visible and well received at many CERT trainings and events throughout the community."

More:Twinsburg honors retiring canine member of CERT

Zammikiel, who adopted Chogan in 2011, said that "Chogan was always greeted with affection whether he was walking a parade route, accompanying people on the city-sponsored nature hikes or herding crowds during shows at the outdoor amphitheater." 

"Over time he would become the mascot for our CERT program until his retirement," Zammikiel said. "The bond shared and the love given by Chogan has meant the world to us. His impact to the community can be summed up in this quote from Asst. Chief [Steve] Bosso. 'Chogan was an excellent public relations tool for CERT, as well as the fire and police departments. I don’t think that there is anyone in town who hasn’t interacted with him at one point.'”

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@thebeaconjournal.com