Police officers consider each other brethren, and the dogs that help them are no exception.
Judge, a German Shepard and part of the the West Deptford Township officers' K-9 unit, received a salute of honor from his human companions as he walked to the vet for the last time. According to Gloucester County Online, the police pup had suffered from Cushings Disease and was in enough pain to be put down.
They reported that over $13,000 had been raised for the dog's surgeries and care in November, but a large mass grew on his liver and he could no longer eat. The deputies made the call to put him down.
But not without a final farewell.
As he made his final walk to the Swedesboro Animal Hospital St. Francis Veterinary Clinic vet, his fellow officers gave him a tribute fit for a hero.
Though sad that they were losing one of their own, Gloucester County reporter Jim Six told A+ in an email that the officers were proud that Judge found the strength to walk to the vet on his own.
"The police officers stood around for an hour or more in single-digit temperatures," he said. "As they filed into the veterinary hospital, it was as quiet as a funeral home."
He said that once inside the vet, the officers and handler Mike Franks got to say their goodbyes.
Judge began his career as a police dog in 2007 and helped make over 150 arrests in relation to drug crimes.
He will be sorely missed.