PHOTOS: Lifelong K-9 Receives the “Hero’s Farewell” After Being Diagnosed with Cancer

PHOTOS: Lifelong K-9 Receives the “Hero’s Farewell” After Being Diagnosed with Cancer

God bless Hunter and all K-9s.

By Kristyn Pomranz

Credit: Middletown Police Department/Facebook

A German shepherd named Hunter had dedicated his entire life to serving as a K-9 for the police department of Middletown, Connecticut. In his time on the job, he helped find missing persons, uncover drugs, and apprehend suspects. The department said D’Aresta and Hunter “performed at the highest level, setting the bar of what a K-9 team should be.”

The beloved 10-year-old dog had recently been cleared to retire—when he was suddenly diagnosed with liver cancer. His K-9 handler, Officer Michael D’Aresta was devastated by the news. He had been looking forward to helping Hunter retire at the end of the year.

“Officer Michael D’Aresta unfortunately has to make the toughest decision any K9 handler dreads,” Middletown Police Department posted on their Facebook page. “K9 Hunter has been ill for that past several days and when tests were conducted they revealed that K9 Hunter has a very aggressive form of liver cancer. They unfortunately recommended that he be euthanized.”

But D’Aresta wasn’t about to let Hunter go without a proper goodbye. On the day of Hunter’s “end of watch,” D’Aresta carried his canine partner in his arms to the Pieper-Olson Veterinary Hospital, and the street was lined with other officers and staffers with hands over hearts and solemn salutes.

Rest in peace, Hunter.

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