The Wright County Sheriff’s Office is mourning the death of a K-9 officer who died this week after collapsing one week before his scheduled retirement.
Saber, a 9-year veteran patrol dog, passed out while working with his handler, Deputy Dan Cotton, on Thursday night. He was rushed to a veterinarian, where doctors could do little to help the dog bleeding internally from a ruptured tumor, authorities said.
He had been scheduled to retire from service next Friday.
Saber began his career with the sheriff’s office in 2007. He had racked up awards for narcotics detection and for locating suspects in Carver County and Monticello, and was the U.S. Police Canine Association’s canine of the year in 2014.
“K-9 Saber served the citizens of Wright County for 9 years, locating and apprehending numerous suspects,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a statement Friday. “He also entertained many through countless K-9 demonstrations, County Fair appearances and DARE graduations. He was an asset to the patrol division and will be missed by his handlers.”