Saturday 25 November 2017

Police officers form guard of honour in last tribute to favourite police dog

Judge carrying his training arm as he walked passed saluting officers on way to be put to sleep
Judge carrying his training arm as he walked passed saluting officers on way to be put to sleep
Judge, 9-year-old German shepherd
Other K-9 units saying goodbye to Judge
Staff at the Swedesboro Animal Hospital also lined up to pay their respects
Judge with his handler Captain Mike Franks

Independent.ie News Desk

A police dog was given an emotional send-off by fellow officers after losing his battle against illness.

On Friday, German shepherd Judge (9) was given his final walkies by his handler Mike Franks as more than 30 US officers and a dozen police dogs with their partners lined the route to the vets’ surgery were he was him put down.

Judge, who served for seven years in the West Deptford Police Department, suffered from Cushings Disease and last week his condition began to deteriorate.

The decision to end his life was taken after more than €8,000 was raised to help cover the cost of his veterinary treatment after he was forced to retire in 2014.

“Judge had gone under surgery, and was taking medication for the disease, but it quickly deteriorated, unfortunately,” said West Deptford Deputy Chief Sean McKenna.

“The doctors gave him several months to live but he hasn’t been able to get up in a few days. That's when we made the decision to give Judge his last bite.”

That last bite involved his handler putting on the K-9 department's protective arm sleeve and allowing Judge to fix his jaw onto his arm, one last time. 

Judge was still holding the sleeve in his mouth when he was 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 Chief McKenna. “No one has forgotten what he's done — and that includes protecting his partner and his community.”

During his time as a police dog, Judge apprehend a total of 152 suspects and helped recover three stolen vehicles, three guns and almost €45,000 in drug money.

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