K9 receives final salute and police escort on way to be euthaniz - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

K9 receives final salute and police escort on way to be euthanized

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Sultan seen enjoying retirement (PHOTO: Facebook/Yarmouth Police Department Sultan seen enjoying retirement (PHOTO: Facebook/Yarmouth Police Department
A final salute for Sultan from police and firefighters (PHOTO: Photo: Kate Gardner / The Forecaster) A final salute for Sultan from police and firefighters (PHOTO: Photo: Kate Gardner / The Forecaster)
YARMOUTH, Maine - There aren't too many stories that can bring a tear to my eye. Working in this business you see a lot a tragedy and I don't want to say you become used to it, or numb to it, but you definitely build up a callus on the skin of your soul. I imagine many police officers would echo those feelings. But just like me, I doubt many of them could keep a dry eye when they come across a story like this. 

Sultan, a beloved 13-year-old German Shepard K9 with the Yarmouth Police Department in Maine received one final salute and a police escort, with lights flashing, to the vet clinic where he was euthanized. Sultan had been suffering from seizures and arthritis in his old age and dozens of police officers and firefighters turned out to pay their respects to the dog who dedicated most of his life serving the community by sniffing out drugs and bad guys. 

Sultan was the first police dog with the department and was in high demand across southern Maine during his years of service. Sultan retired three years ago and he and his former partner, Mike Vogel who now works in Florida, answered more than 1,000 calls, and caught plenty of criminals over the years. Vogel said Sultan was also popular with schoolchildren. 

"It's always awful to have to put them down. It's the worst part," South Portland Officer Shane Stephenson told The Forecaster. "Luckily he had an awesome career, and an awesome retirement."

When Vogel moved, he was unable to take Sultan with him, so he was adopted by Officer Shane Stephenson of the South Portland Police Department to live out his days. Stephenson said in an interview with the Portland Press Herald, he watched Sultan's health decline over a span of about two weeks, with multiple seizures. The seizures took their toll and eventually Sultan stopped eating. 

After the escort, when they arrived at the clinic, officers lined up at Stephenson's SUV with Sultan stretched out in the back, too weak to stand, and gave him one last pet. Stephenson then carried his friend into the vet clinic, with officers and firefighters saluting, and sent him along to his next journey. 

Good boy, Sultan. Rest in peace. 

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