The 10-year-old police K-9 received a hero's farewell from his owner, Officer Michael D’Aresta, accompanied by his friends and colleagues from the Middletown Police Department in Connecticut.
The Middletown Police Department shared the heartbreaking news in a Facebook post. "Officer Michael D’Aresta unfortunately has to make the toughest decision any K-9 handler dreads. Hunter has been ill for that past several days and when tests were conducted, they revealed that Hunter has a very aggressive form of liver cancer. They unfortunately recommended that he be euthanized."
With a heavy heart, D'Aresta took Hunter to the Pieper-Olson Veterinary Hospital to put him to rest on Sept. 1, the Hartford Courant reported.
But D'Aresta and Hunter, who had worked together since 2007, were not alone in those final hours. As D'Aresta carried Hunter into the hospital, the Middletown Police Department saluted them along the way to the entrance. (The photos, which were posted on the department's Facebook page, are utterly heartbreaking.)
While Hunter may be gone, his tireless work for the force will not soon be forgotten. In an announcement regarding his death, the department said that Hunter and D'Aresta, "performed at the highest level, setting the bar of what a K-9 team should be."
Image via Middletown Police Department Facebook