Beloved K-9 forced to retire early after cancer diagnosis

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A beloved member of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office was given an emotional sendoff this week. there as K-9 Sarge had his final call after five years on the force.

CBS 17 was there as K-9 Sarge had his final call after five years on the force.

Sarge always stays alert, goes crazy for chew toys and loves giving spontaneous hugs to his partner Eddie Flores.

“He has a great personality,” Flores said. “I mean he loves to work, he’s real energetic.”

As focused as he is on play, Sarge is just as focused at work. 

He’s been a part of several drug busts, including a traffic stop where he found two kilos of cocaine.

“He’s made numerous felony arrests,” Flores said. 

Eddie beams with pride as he talks about the time Sarge found a murder weapon in the woods.

“I shot my flashlight over there where he’s at, and sure enough the gun was sitting right in between his two front paws.”

Sarge has even been a part of life saving missions, including rescues and finding missing children.

“He has been a phenomenal dog,” said Sgt. Joseph Salisbury. “Him and Eddie together they’ve been a very productive work team.”

“I’m with him more than I’m with my family,” Flores said. 

Sarge’s vital work is now coming to an abrupt end.

“Sarge has cancer,” Flores explained. 

The tumor was found earlier this month after it caused his spleen to rupture.

The seven-year-old K-9 was given six months to one year to live.

“It’s slowly going to affect all his other organs like his liver and stomach,” Flores said.

Deputies came to say goodbye to Sarge as he took his final call for duty Wednesday.

“Sarge is very important, he’s one of our experienced K-9s,” Salisbury said. “Not having him on the department is going to be a significant loss.”

“It’s going to be hard, this is my partner right here, he’s taken care of me I’ve taken care of him,” Flores said. “It’s going to be rough trying to come to work every day and not having him back there.”

Sarge will spend the rest of his days away from the office, relaxing at home with Eddie’s other dogs.

“He likes to go camping,” Flores said. “We are probably going to be doing a lot of that with him.”

Flores will be getting a new K-9 to work with, making it his fourth.

His first one Jack was shot in the line of duty. Jack survived and lived to be 15 years old. 

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