Life
Beloved police dog takes 1 final ride in cop car before he’s put down
Zeus spent years working in the field and deserved a powerful send-off.
Jenny Brown
05.18.22

Every dog on this planet deserves to be treated well and respected. However, when it comes to police dogs, they also deserve to be honored for the important role they play.

A K9 is specially trained to work with the police, and must be incredibly well disciplined to work in high-pressure scenarios.

Unsplash - Jason Jarrach
Source:
Unsplash - Jason Jarrach

There are several police dog roles in the field, and none of them are particularly easy.

The most common K9 job roles are in search and rescue, narcotics and arson detection, and cadaver detection.

Unsplash - Anna Dudkova
Source:
Unsplash - Anna Dudkova

Often, a police dog’s input can make a huge difference when it comes to making an arrest. But these dogs also form close bonds with their police handlers – and that’s why it’s so emotional when a dog has to leave the service for good.

At the Ridgefield Police Department, a flag was raised at half-stand, and a black cloth was draped above the entrance.

WTNH News8/ YouTube
Source:
WTNH News8/ YouTube

The officers were bidding farewell to a beloved team member.

Zeus, a German Shepherd who served the department for nine years, was given the same emotional send-off as any human police officer would have.

He would be taking his last ride in a police car.

A procession of squad cars followed Zeus’ car to the Ridgefield Veterinary Hospital, where he was wheeled through a waiting crowd of servicemen.

Speaking before Zeus was taken inside, one officer said:

“It’s with tears in our eyes that we must say goodbye. He wore the Ridgefield police badge with respect, pride and dignity.”

Zeus was described as an “alpha dog”, and had assisted officers with hundreds of arrests.

He had done some amazing things for the police department, after joining way back in 2006.

Over his years of service, Zeus had conducted over 50 tracks for missing or wanted individuals, managing to locate 6 people who were in life-threatening situations and 6 suspects that had fled the scenes of crimes.

But now, it was time for him to hang up his leash for good.

WTNH News8/ YouTube
Source:
WTNH News8/ YouTube

Chief John Roche of the department said that it was an “honor” to be there for Zeus’s last moments.

He told WTNH:

“The disease that had racked him had deteriorated him to such a point where it was just so difficult for him to exist and continue on.”

WTNH News8/ YouTube
Source:
WTNH News8/ YouTube

Anyone who’s been a pet owner for a few decades will know the heartbreak of deciding to get your beloved furry friend put down.

But sometimes it really is for the best – when an animal’s quality of life becomes so poor that they’re no longer happy. Zeus had a severe degenerative hip disorder, and after retiring from the force, his health declined quickly.

WTNH News8/ YouTube
Source:
WTNH News8/ YouTube

One thing’s for sure, while Zeus might be gone, he certainly isn’t forgotten.

In a beautiful post shared on Facebook, the Ridgefield CT Police Department wrote that they still missed their canine friend, five years on.

After sharing some of Zeus’s most notable achievements, the post finished:

“Zeus was a valued member of our team as well as our community. He will always remain in our thoughts, and never be forgotten.”

Zeus clearly lived a long and happy life, and, by the looks of things, enjoyed his time in the police force thoroughly. Not every dog can get to say they took on such an important job role, after all.

Press play on the video below to watch Zeus take his final trip and be honored by his teammates. It’s a tearjerker!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Jenny Brown
hi@sbly.com
Jenny Brown is a senior writer at Shareably. She is based in San Francisco and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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