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Deptford Township New Jersey Police Pay Last Respects to Retired K-9 Officer ‘Judge’

Deptford Township New Jersey Police Pay Last Respects to Retired K-9 Officer 'Judge'

N.J. police pay last respects as retired K-9 put down.

With more than 20 West Deptford police officers looking on, joined by at least 70 others representing departments from across South Jersey, Cpl. Michael Franks on Friday took his last walk with his partner and beloved pet, retired K-9 Judge, into St. Francis Veterinary Center.

After watching his former partner battle Cushings Disease for months, experiencing symptoms like vomiting, bleeding and hair loss — and witnessing the former K-9 officer struggle to even move over the past few days — Franks and his family made the heartbreaking decision to put Judge down.

“(Judge) had gone under surgery, and was taking medication for the disease, but it quickly deteriorated, unfortunately,” said West Deptford Deputy Chief Sean McKenna, standing in the reception area of the Woolwich animal hospital, surrounded by fellow officers, all waiting somberly as Franks and Judge spent their last moments together in one of the patient rooms.

“The doctors gave him several months to live,” he added. “He hasn’t been up in a few days. However, today, (Franks) gave Judge his last bite.”

That “last bite” saw Franks donning the K-9 department’s protective arm sleeve, and, just as in training, allowing Judge to latch his jaws onto it one final time.

Judge was still holding the sleeve in his mouth as he and Franks walked into the hospital.

Awaiting them were officers and canines from nearly every police department in Gloucester County, as well as the Salem County Sheriff’s Department and the Atlantic County K-9 Academy.

“It’s about showing respect, but also the people who are here wanted to thank Judge for his service to the community,” said Glassboro Sgt. Dan Eliasen, who supervises his department’s K-9 division. “No one has forgotten what he’s done — and that includes protecting his partner and his community.”

Deptford Township New Jersey Police Pay Last Respects to Retired K-9 Officer 'Judge'Eliasen later added that, unfortunately, losing their animal partner like this is something that many K-9 division officers experience.

“We all go through it,” he said. “No handler escapes this part of it.”

The West Deptford community in November came to the aid of Judge and Franks, donating more than $12,000 in less than two days toward the 9-year-old Czech Shepherd’s veterinary bills. At that time, they had racked up more than $10,000 in veterinary bills — nearly all of which the family had to pay for out of pocket — after doctors diagnosed Judge with Cushings Disease.

Judge began his career in West Deptford in 2007, and served for seven years untilproblems with his teeth forced him into retirement in August 2014.

During his time as a K-9 officer, Judge had been deployed 280 times, apprehending a total of 152 suspects. He also helped recover three stolen vehicles, three firearms and approximately $47,000 in alleged drug money.

Awaiting them were officers and canines from nearly every police department in Gloucester County, as well as the Salem County Sheriff’s Department and the Atlantic County K-9 Academy.

“It’s about showing respect, but also the people who are here wanted to thank Judge for his service to the community,” said Glassboro Sgt. Dan Eliasen, who supervises his department’s K-9 division. “No one has forgotten what he’s done — and that includes protecting his partner and his community.”

Eliasen later added that, unfortunately, losing their animal partner like this is something that many K-9 division officers experience.

“We all go through it,” he said. “No handler escapes this part of it.”

The West Deptford community in November came to the aid of Judge and Franks, donating more than $12,000 in less than two days toward the 9-year-old Czech Shepherd’s veterinary bills. At that time, they had racked up more than $10,000 in veterinary bills — nearly all of which the family had to pay for out of pocket — after doctors diagnosed Judge with Cushings Disease.

Judge began his career in West Deptford in 2007, and served for seven years untilproblems with his teeth forced him into retirement in August 2014.

During his time as a K-9 officer, Judge had been deployed 280 times, apprehending a total of 152 suspects. He also helped recover three stolen vehicles, three firearms and approximately $47,000 in alleged drug money.

New Jersey

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This entry was posted on February 22, 2015 by in Headlines, New Jersey, U.S. and tagged , , .

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