A photo of a Connecticut police department giving its K9 officer an emotional farewell before he is put down is tugging at the heartstrings of many social media users.
KTRK reports that Middletown Police Officer Michael D’Aresta’s K9 partner, Hunter, did not have long to live after he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of liver cancer.
The veterinarian recommended that he be euthanized, but the officers wanted to give Hunter a proper send-off first.
Middletown Police Department officers lined up on two sides to pay their respects to Hunter and support his handler, Officer D’Aresta, before D’Aresta took Hunter to the veterinarian’s office to be euthanized.
The police department posted a photo to their Facebook page showing Officer D’Aresta carrying the animal while his fellow officers in blue gave his partner a farewell salute to thank him for his service.
The photo has been shared several hundred times on Facebook.
Other police departments have given their canine officers similar send-offs at the end of their lives.
In July, the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office said goodbye to their K9 officer with a similar “last call” ceremony.
The Chicago Police Department also gave a K9 officer a “last call” ceremony before she was set to be put down in 2016.