It’s a day that every pet parent dreads: saying goodbye to their beloved companions. And for K9 handlers, they’re not just bidding farewell to their best friends, they’re also losing their partners, and often, their life savers.
Officer Michael D’Aresta of the Middletown Police Department in Connecticut escorted his loyal best friend to the vet one last time while he received salutes on all sides. After recently falling ill, Hunter was diagnosed with aggressive liver cancer. Not wanting to see him suffer, and with no other options, D’Aresta selflessly chose to send his partner peacefully over the Rainbow Bridge.
“Officer Michael D’Aresta unfortunately has to make the toughest decision any K9 handler dreads making this evening at Pieper Olson in Middletown at 1830 hours,” Sgt. Doug Clark, K9 Supervisor, wrote on the department’s Facebook page.
“Officer D’Aresta and Hunter have been an exceptional team serving the City of Middletown in a high caliber since 2007,” he said. “So as you can imagine, this is extremely difficult for Mike and his family.”
According to a story by Fox News, the K9’s career highlights include assisting in a drug bust and helping find an elderly woman with dementia who’d gone missing.
“Hunter and Officer D’Aresta have been such a huge part of our department the past ten years,” Clark wrote on Facebook. “Such a dedicated K-9 team. It will never be the same. Rest in Peace Hunter you’ve done well. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Officer Michael D’Aresta and his family.”
It’s obvious that K9 Hunter was a respected and well-loved member of the police force as well as the community. We are so sorry for their loss, and hope that they find comfort in knowing that this hero lived a fulfilling life and is now at peace.