We’re sad to report that Kaya, the first certified Belgian Malinois avalanche dog in the US has passed away.
Kaya was an 11-year veteran of the Palisades Professional Ski Patrol and Placer County Sheriff’s Tahoe Avalanche Dog Team.
Please read the full caption by Palisades Avalanche Dogs on Kaya’s legendary life of service and devotion:
“Kaya, end of watch. 05/09/2010 – 01/12/2023
Kaya was an 11 season veteran of the Palisades Professional Ski Patrol and Placer County Sheriff’s Tahoe Avalanche Dog Team. She was also the first certified Belgian Malinois avalanche dog in the US.
Throughout her training and deployments, Kaya proved herself as one of the best avalanche dogs to ever play the “game”. Alongside her handler Ben, Kaya happily served her community and family.
She paved the way for many future avalanche dogs, including her “sister” Ahsoka, who followed Kaya’s tracks and became a certified avalanche dog last season. We are all eternally grateful for Kaya’s years of service and her positive impact on our team.
Thank you for everything Kaya, you will live on as the legend that you are!
Run in Peace sweet girl.”
Kaya was the goodest of girls and her presence at Palisades Tahoe will surely be missed.
She is survived by her sweet sister Ahsoka (pictured on the left in the image above), another Belgian Malinois, and her very loving best friends Ben and Susan who were instrumental in Kaya’s training and life.
Ahsoka is currently an avalanche dog at Palisades Tahoe. You can spot her running around the resort with Ben as I did earlier this season.