A German Shepherd police dog by the name Tazer had served on the Newberry Township Police force for eight-and-a-half years, as part of its K9 program. He excelled in his role, receiving two Medals of Valour, a Meritorious Service Medal and four Chief Commendations for his bravery on the job.
Recently, the German Shephard’s handler, Sergeant Chris Martinez, noticed Tazer wasn’t his usual self on a recent shift and promptly took him to the vet. Unfortunately, Martinex received the worst news imaginable – Tazer had a broken leg, bone cancer in both hind legs and two detached retinas, rendering him blind.
The vet was astonished that the dog had been able to work at all, and it became obvious that euthanasia was the only way to stop his suffering.
According to the York Daily Record, he said: “He was not limping, he was not showing any indication he had bone cancer, and bone cancer hurts. But Tazer, true to his spirit, just continued to be Tazer.”
To the dismay of his human colleagues, the decision was made that Tazer would have to beput down – however, they wouldn’t dream of doing this without giving him the send-off this hero deserved.
Around 30 cars parked up outside Hartman’s Valley Green Veterinary Hospital, with the Associated Press reporting that around 70 officers were in attendance. Sergeant Martinez then walked Tazer into the vets as officers saluted – one of whom was reduced to tears by the emotional moment.
Indeed, the vet himself, Dr Lewis Hartman, got emotional when speaking to the York Daily Record about the send off.
He said: “The overwhelming respect that all these police officers from all these different departments showed… It was very much a traditional police ceremony.
“The fact that Tazer walked right alongside Officer Martinez, through the corridor into the exam room… It was incredible the level of Tazer’s strength, stamina, spirit.
“For him to walk when he had bone cancer in both rear legs, that was incredible.”
Before being put to rest, Tazer was fed his favourite meal of chicken treats, and his end-of-watch announcement was made over the police radio.
In a tribute shared on their Facebook page, Newberry Township Police said: “It is with heavy and sad hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved K9 Officer Tazer.
“K9 Tazer’s health recently deteriorated to the point that he had to be laid to rest today.
It is with heavy and sad hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved K9 Officer Tazer. K9 Tazer’s health…
“Throughout his eight-and-a-half year career with his handler, Sgt. Christopher Martinez, K9 Tazer successfully specialised in patrol, narcotics detection, and tracking. K9 Tazer assisted numerous agencies across central PA and was the recipient of two Medals of Valor, a Meritorious Service Medal, and four Chief Commendations.
“K9 Tazer was a true warrior to the very end and will be missed by many. We would like to thank K9 Tazer for his dedicated and selfless service to the residents of Newberry Township and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
“Rest in Peace K9 Tazer.”
What a fitting send-off. I don’t know about you folks, but I’m an emotional wreck after reading this. Rest in peace, Tazer.