Emotional photo shows police saying goodbye to ill K-9

Officer Michael D'Aresta carries his K9 partner (Middletown Police Department)

MIDDLETOWN, Tenn. (WATE) — Photographers captured an emotional farewell as Connecticut police lined up to say goodbye to one of their own.

Sgt. Doug Clark with the Middletown Police Department said K-9 Hunter had been ill for the last couple of days. After tests showed the dog had an aggressive form of liver cancer and a veterinarian recommended he be euthanized.

“Officer Michael D’Aresta unfortunately has to make the toughest decision any K-9 handler dreads making,” said Sgt. Clark. “Officer D’Aresta and Hunter have been an exceptional team serving the City of Middletown in a high caliber since 2007. So as you can imagine, this is extremely difficult for Mike and his family.

Friday afternoon, officers with the Middletown Police Department lined up to pay their respects to Hunter and offer support to Offier D’Areas as he carried Hunter into the veterinarian’s office. As his brothers and sisters in blue saluted his partner, Officer D’Aresta held Hunter close.

A photograph of that embrace was posted to the Middletown Police Department’s Facebook page.

The caption accompanying the post reads: “Hunter and Officer D’Aresta have been such a huge part of our department the past ten years. Such a dedicated K-9 team. It will never be the same. Rest in Peace Hunter you’ve done well. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Officer Michael D’Aresta and his family.”