Police in Connecticut gave a brave K-9 officer one last salute as he made his final journey to the animal hospital.
After medical tests revealed that Middletown Police Department’s German shepherd named Hunter was suffering from an aggressive form of liver cancer, veterinarians recommended that he be put to sleep.
So as Hunter’s handler of 10 years, officer Michael D’Aresta, carried him to the doors of the Pieper-Olson Veterinary Hospital last Friday, fellow officers and police workers formed an emotional guard of honor to pay their respects.
In heartbreaking photographs that the department shared to Facebook, D’Aresta was seen burying his head into his canine partner’s fur.
It was “the toughest decision any K-9 handler dreads making,” the department wrote, adding it was an “extremely difficult” time for D’Aresta and his family.
Many commenters were moved by the images:
The department later paid further tribute to Hunter by adding this profile picture to its official Facebook page: