Officer Michael D'Aresta carried his canine partner into the vet's office while fellow officers saluted the pair

By Kelli Bender
September 07, 2017 03:35 PM

After a life of service to Connecticut’s Middletown Police Department and his family, Hunter the German Shepherd said a final farewell to all of his friends.

“Officer Michael D’Aresta unfortunately has to make the toughest decision any K9 handler dreads,” the police department posted on its Facebook page about the decision to put Hunter down. “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.”

The 10-year-old dog was put to sleep on Friday.

Hunter, who led an extraordinary life, was treated to an equally amazing goodbye. On the day that marked the “end of watch” for Hunter, his K-9 handler Officer D’Aresta carried his canine partner to the doors of Pieper-Olson Veterinary Hospital, reports the Hartford Courant.

The vet office’s walkway was flanked by fellow police officers saluting the furry hero as a sign of respect and appreciation for his 10 years of dedication to the department, where he helped to find missing people, sniff out drugs and apprehend suspects.

Photos of Hunter’s last moments, posted to the police department’s Facebook page, show Officer D’Aresta’s emotional reaction to this special farewell for his best friend.

Credit: Middletown Police Department

The goodbye was especially hard for Officer D’Aresta who was planning to help Hunter retire from the police department by the end of the year before the dog was diagnosed with cancer.