A New Jersey police department gave a heartfelt goodbye to one of its K-9 officers — bringing even some toughened cops to tears.
More than 90 officers from West Deptford and surrounding towns stood outside the St. Francis Veterinary Hospital in Woolwich, N.J., Friday as Cpl. Michael Franks walked his pet, and retired K-9 Officer Judge one last time. This time to be put down.
Judge had battled Cushings disease for months, and over the past few days struggled to even move, NJ.com reported.
“He had gone under surgery, and was taking medication for the disease, but it quickly deteriorated, unfortunately,” West Deptford Deputy Chief Sean McKenna told reporters in the reception area of the hospital.
“He hasn’t been up in a few days. However, today, (Franks) gave Judge his last bite,” he added referring to the protective sleeve that was Judge’s favorite chew toy.
The K-9 officer was still chewing on the toy as he walked into the hospital.
“It’s about showing respect, but also the people who are here wanted to thank Judge for his service to the community,” said Sgt. Dan Eliasen, supervisor of the department’s K-9 division. “No one has forgotten what he’s done, and that includes protecting his partner and his community.”
According to NJ.com, Judge was deployed 280 times during his seven-year career and aided in the arrests of 152 suspects, the recovery of three stolen vehicles, three guns and about $47,000 in alleged drug money.
“Judge was a great dog, a really good dog,” McKenna said.
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