A beloved Sacramento police dog who retired in 2011 died Thursday, after being diagnosed with cancer just a few days ago.
K9 Buck, a 10-year-old German Shepherd, spent his final days with his canine colleagues on the force and his handler, Sacramento Police Officer Randy Van Dusen.
As a patrol dog, K9 Buck was assigned to the SWAT division, where he helped serve warrants and performed high-risk searches for dangerous suspects, according to the Sacramento Police Canine Association.
He was credited with locating and helping in the arrests and surrender of hundreds of Sacramento's most dangerous criminals, the association said.
"Buck also had the pleasure of taking part in hundreds of school and citizen demonstrations and had thousands of belly rubs from people who loved him," an association statement said.
In 2009, K9 Buck was voted Top Dog in a competition for police dogs in the Sacramento region.
K9 Buck was born in the Netherlands on Jan. 1, 2002. He certified with Van Dusen as a police K9 for Sacramento Police Department in 2004.
He retired in April 2011, when K9 Bodie took over his duties with Van Dusen.
On Sunday, some slight swelling was noticed in Buck's abdomen, and an ultrasound showed cancer had spread throughout his body. He spent his last days with Van Dusen and his family as well as K9s Bodie and Bandit, who stayed by his side until the end, said the statement. He died of a tumor in his spleen.