FORT WORTH, Texas — The Sansom Park Police Department is mourning the loss of one of its beloved and its very first K-9 officers.
The SPPD announced Tuesday that Lt. Dan had passed away after a recent cancer diagnosis. His last night on the job was March 1, where he completed an open-air sniff on three separate cars in a narcotics investigation.
Three were arrested and roughly $10k in drugs were seized.
Officer Hagin, Lt. Dan's handler, took the pup on one last ride in their police vehicle Monday, followed by one last successful (training) sniff, earning one of his favorite toys as a reward, along with some heartfelt love.
Hagin told WFAA on Wednesday night that Lt. Dan was diagnosed with cancer over the weekend, just days after their last drug bust.
"It was a silent ride up here tonight," Hagin said. "Not hearing his tail bouncing around and him panting, thinking we're going to work. I found myself talking to him in the back kennel and had to look back and realize he was not there."
"When he made that bust, he was just eaten up with cancer and didn't complain at all," Hagin said.
The SPPD said Hagin and Lt. Dan had been partners for almost 11 years.
The narcotics lab wore three different badges. Aside from the Sansom Park Police Department, he worked for the Hood and Parker County sheriff's offices.
Hagin said Lt. Dan had roughly eight years in law enforcement. He was brought out of retirement to kickstart SPPD's K-9 unit in January of this year.
After his cancer diagnosis, Hagin said he took Lt. Dan for one last walk in his favorite park on Sunday.
On Monday, minutes after taking one last picture in uniform, Lt. Dan collapsed in front of Hagin and died at his feet.
"I did CPR on him for a little bit trying to bring him back, but was unsuccessful," Hagin said.
"He looked up at me, took his last breath, and dropped down. Clear Fork Veterinary Clinic, which has taken care of Dan his whole life, said he likely died from a blood clot that broke loose and hit his heart."
"I'm not a crier, but this broke my heart. I spent more time with him than with my actual family. It's not just a dog, it means so much more."
Hagin will never forget that look or the dog that's always been by his side.
The department is looking at getting a new K-9 but will always remember the very first.
"Dan crossed over the Rainbow Bridge in the arms of his beloved partner," the department said.
"We will miss you now, but we will love you forever," they added.
Good boy, Lt. Dan! Rest In Peace.
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