Gilbert, AZ – Gilbert Police Department K9 Murphy has succumbed to an aggressive and debilitating form of cancer, his department announced on Sep. 24.
K9 Murphy, a seven-year-old Dutch Shepard, joined the Gilbert Police Department in 2013, according to the city’s website.
“It is with heavy hearts that we raise a final salute to canine Murphy,” the department said in social media posts on Sep. 24. “He was recently diagnosed with a very aggressive and debilitating form of cancer.”
“Murphy, today we honor your life and career with the Gilbert Police Department,” the posts read.
K9 Murphy was imported from eastern Holland, and quickly distinguished himself in competitive police dog sporting events, the city’s website said.
“In these competitions the dogs are run through a series of police dog related tests, which include obedience, agility and suspect apprehension,” the site explained.
K9 Murphy served alongside his partner, Gilbert Police Officer S. Gilbert, and was trained in narcotics detection and various other patrol functions.
In 2014, two of his litter mates, K9 Lenz and K9 Bono, also joined the Gilbert Police Department, The Arizona Republic reported.
Gilbert Police Officer Greg Thomas, K9 Bono’s handler, said that only about one in 100 dogs with proven bloodlines is able to meet the qualifications needed to become a police K9. Having three brothers on the same force is arguably unheard of.
"I can't think of another agency that has three of their dogs from the same line, from the same litter," Officer Justin Betts, K9 Lenz's partner, told The Arizona Republic.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gilbert Police Department and Officer S. Gilbert in the loss of K9 Murphy.