‘A beautiful dog’: City of Lancaster K9 remembers his work and his personality after his recent death | Local News
Axel, a police dog from the city of Lancaster, was remembered Thursday as a goofy, friendly companion who loved attention, including pats on the head.
He was also praised for his “key role” in assisting local police officers with drug-related investigations that kept illegal narcotics off the city streets.
That’s all according to Lancaster Police Department officials, who announced on Facebook that the 8-year-old mixed-breed dog – part German Shepherd and part Belgian Malinois – died on Wednesday.
The announcement was made with “extreme sadness”, police officials said, offering condolences to Axel’s partner and handler, Officer Steven Alexander, and the officer’s family.
In the post, Axel and Alexander’s relationship was described as “a bond that few will understand.”
Axel joined the office’s K9 unit, partnering with Alexander in March 2015. The dog was bred in Slovakia, according to LNP | Lancaster Online Files.
Axel trained at Castle’s K-9 Inc. in Mechanicsburg. There he was certified as a patrol dog and in narcotics detection, police said.
“During his nearly seven-year career, K9 Axel became very well known throughout the City of Lancaster and Lancaster County. … It was through K9 Axel that officers were able to seize illegal narcotics before be sold/used in the City of Lancaster,” police said.
They also noted Axel’s occasional role in apprehending “potentially violent” suspects.
It was during this time that the dog was not involved in public protests or school visits, police said.
“When I met K9 Axel, it was hard to consider him a police dog,” the officials wrote in the Facebook post. “K9 Axel was extremely personable and loved the attention he received from his fellow human officers and the public.”
In late November, Alexander noticed that Axel seemed to have pain when walking – a condition that quickly worsened, according to police.
Eventually, a veterinarian discovered an inoperable tumor growing on Axel’s spine, officials said.
Because Axel was in so much pain, it was decided that he would be euthanized to alleviate his suffering, police said, adding that his family was on his side.
On Facebook, commenters also offered their condolences, posting messages like: “It’s heartbreaking. He was a beautiful dog” and “Sorry for your great loss.
Others addressed Alexander directly, with one commenter saying, “He will always be your partner, visible and invisible.”
Lancaster Police also remembered the dog fondly.
“Most likely if you had the honor of meeting K9 Axel, you left with a smile on your face and a clump of hair stuck to you,” police wrote in the Facebook post.