Hero police dog gets guard of honour, succumbs to illness

Judge the German shepherd carried his training arm in mouth as he walked passed saluting officers on way to be put to sleep          PHOTO ;     COURTESY
US: A hero police dog was given an emotional send-off by cops and vets after losing his battle against illness.

German shepherd Judge, 9, was given his final walkies by Cpl Mike Franks as more than 30 officers and a dozen K-9 units - police dogs with their partners - lined the route to salute him.

Vets and specialists inside Swedesboro Animal Hospital in Woolwich Township, New Jersey also lined up to pay their respects.

Mercury Press These are the heart-warming images from the hero's send off of police dog Judge who was being taken to be put down

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After making the difficult final journey, he was put to sleep.

Judge, of the West Deptford Police Department, helped arrest 152 people, seize three vehicles, remove three handguns from the streets, seize drugs and confiscate more than $47,000 in cash.

Beginning his career in 2007 with Cpl Franks, he was forced to retire in 2013 with teeth problems before deteriorating health led to vomiting and hair loss.

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"[Judge] had gone under surgery, and was taking medication for [Cushings Disease], but it quickly deteriorated, unfortunately,” West Deptford deputy chief Sean McKenna told South Jersey Times.

“The doctors gave him several months to live. He hasn’t been up [and about] in a few days.

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"However, today, [Franks] gave Judge his last bite."

Mercury Press These are the heart-warming images from the hero's send off of police dog Judge who was being taken to be put down

He was referring to the 'sleeve' worn by Judge's trainer, which Franks donned for that final bite.

Late in 2014 large masses were discovered in his liver and testicles, as well as an intestinal blockage - and it was decided to end his life.

Medical expenses for such dogs are set at a maximum of $300 a year, but his were in excess of $10,000 by the end.

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Despite an offer of free medical care from St. Francis Veterinary Hospital, his liver had become so enlarged that it crowded the animal's stomach and left him unable to eat.

Sgt. Dan Eliasen, who supervises the police department's K-9 division, said of the send-off: “It’s about showing respect, but also the people who are here wanted to thank Judge for his service to the community.

"No one has forgotten what he’s done — and that includes protecting his partner and his community.”

Following an appeal last year, more than than $13,000 was raised in one day to help treat Judge.

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