Calling hours continue today and funeral services will take place tomorrow for a veterinarian and police officer who was killed in the line of duty Dec. 19.
— Calling hours continue today and funeral services will take place tomorrow for a veterinarian and police officer who was killed in the line of duty Dec. 19.
Veterinarian John David Dryer worked part-time for the East Washington Borough Police Department near Pittsburgh for the last two years, while maintaining his small-animal veterinary practice.
Local news reports say that Dryer observed a suspicious vehicle, and initiated a traffic stop on a major highway in the area. During the stop, the driver reportedly fired three shots at police officers, hitting Dryer, 46, in the head and another police officer in the hand. Dryer died two hours later, according to reports. State police shot and killed the suspect the next day while executing arrest warrants. In fact, the man exited his home shooting at police, according to news reports.
Dryer, a Claysville resident, was born in Washington, Pa., and grew up on a farm in nearby Avella. Dryer went on to earn his veterinary degree from The Ohio State University.
He spent some of his veterinary career working with the now-disbanded Heinz Hitch—a team of eight Percherons used by the H.J. Heinz Company for marketing and special events until 2006. Dryer cared for the team of horses, which pulled a 150-year-old red wagon that is believed to be among the world’s largest hitch wagons.
Dryer also owned and operated the Chestnut Veterinary Clinic in Washington for the last decade. He also served as an enforcement officer for the Pennsylvania State Game Commission.
A message on Chestnut Veterinary Clinic’s answering machine Dec. 22 states that the clinic is now permanently closed and that staff will get in touch with clients who need to obtain their veterinary medical records.
Dryer was certified in canine training and tracking for law enforcement. He was also a long-time member of the West Middletown Volunteer Fire Department, where he was certified as a smoke diver, EMT and advanced car extraction.
Dryer is survived by his parents, his son, a brother and a sister.
Calling hours were yesterday and today from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at William G. Neal Funeral Homes, Ltd., 925 Allison Avenue, Washington, Pa. Funeral services were slated for Dec. 23 at 2 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Church. Burial will follow in West Middletown Cemetery.
Donations may be made to “John David Dryer Memorial Fund,” Community Bank, 65 West Chestnut Street, Washington, PA 15301. Condolences and correspondence for the Dryer family can be sent in care of Neal Funeral Home.