LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A bomb-detecting K9 officer and veteran of the war in Afghanistan was euthanized after being diagnosed with terminal intestinal cancer, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said Thursday.
Bart, an 8-year-old, 80-pound German Shepherd was euthanized on Dec. 20 after being ill for several days. Doctors were initially unable to figure out why Bart felt so ill, then discovered the cancer and gave the K9 officer days to live, according to sheriff’s officials.
The decision to euthanize Bart was made to relieve him of his constant pain, officials said.
Bart had been partnered with Maus, a 25-year veteran of the LA Sheriff’s Department, since 2009, when they were selected to be part of a pilot program within the Sheriff’s Transit Policing Division to deploy the highly trained K9’s for another layer of safety and early detection for LA Metro passengers, sheriff’s officials said.
Maus and Bart trained together for three months in Texas to test their compatibility, but also to see if Bart could handle the transition from military life to municipal law enforcement. Sheriff’s officials say Bart was an Air Force explosives detection K9 and served for 19 months in Afghanistan.
“He really got along great with his K9 partners and with the public,” Maus said in a statement. “He loved the attention but he was all business when it came to work. I believe he was one of the better detection K9’s on our crew.”
Maus has since been partnered with a new K9 partner named Tthorpe, who was named for one of the heroes who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.