Saugus, MA – Saugus Police Department (SPD) K9 Bruin died on March 14, after a brief battle with terminal cancer.
K9 Bruin, a nine-year-old German Shepherd, was diagnosed with the untreatable disease in February, SPD said in a press release.
His health declined rapidly following his diagnosis.
K9 Bruin and his human partner, Officer Timothy Fawcett, served together since 2011, when K9 Bruin joined SPD at just 16 months old.
On March 14, they toured the city of Saugus together one last time.
“Approximately 30 police cruisers from Saugus and surrounding communities escorted K-9 Bruin during his final ride,” the SPD said.
Community members and children with handmade signs lined the street as the caravan passed by, WHDH reported.
“K9 Bruin loved patrolling the streets of Saugus and department personnel are honored to provide him with one final ride by his favorite spots,” the SPD Patrol Union said in a social media post. “The Saugus Police Community is forever thankful for the outreach and support that you’ve shown K9 Bruin and the Fawcett Family.”
“We fully support the police all the time, but this is something special," resident Tina Obdens told the New England Cable News. "It's an unconditional love, I think. We want him to know that we appreciate him, his service and everything that he did for us."
When they arrived at the animal hospital, scores of K9 officers and their partners lined the walkway between Officer Fawcett’s patrol car and the hospital entrance, and gave K9 Bruin a final salute.
Officer Fawcett said that the support displayed by the community and fellow officers was overwhelming.
"I've never seen an outpouring like that in my life," the emotional officer told the New England Cable News. "I feel, sadly, so happy that I was treated like that, my family, my dog, the tribute alone was unbelievable."
"When I needed him, he was a pretty tough dog. He had a big heart, but he could do his job," Officer Fawcett said of his beloved partner. "He was just a wonderful animal and I feel so blessed."
K9 Bruin was trained as a certified patrol K9 and in narcotics detection, but he was also “an ambassador of the department,” the SPD’s press release read.
“Over the last eight years, Bruin…met thousands of people during visits he made to schools and nonprofit organizations, both in Saugus and in the surrounding communities,” the department explained.
Saugus Interim Police Chief Ronald Giorgetti said that K9 Bruin touched many lives during his years of service.
“Bruin was a great K9, and served the department well,” Chief Giorgetti said. “He also represented the department on over 100 visits he made to local schools and events, and had a special place in the heart of the community.”
“He will be missed greatly by the Saugus Police Department and all members of the public,” the chief added.
SPD said it plans to hold a memorial service for K9 Bruin at a later date.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Saugus Police Department and Officer Fawcett in the loss of K9 Bruin.