GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — The Gwinnett County Police Department is mourning the loss of one of its police dogs.

K-9 Eli died Thursday after he was trying to track down a suspect fleeing from a scene. Eli was 9 years old and served Gwinnett County citizens for eight years.

Gwinnett Police K9 Eli
Gwinnett Police K9 Eli
Gwinnett Police

Gwinnett officers said Snellive Police had a suspect run from them near North Crestview Drive and Grayson Parkway. They requested assistance from Gwinnett Police to help them find the suspect.

K-9 Eli and his handler, Officer Bonano, responded to the area. About 30 minutes later, the search was called off. Police said they noticed Eli started showing signs of distress as they started walking back to their patrol cars. The police dog fell to the ground and began acting abnormal. Officers said they believe it was related to the heat.

Police covered his body with water in an effort to cool him down. His handler took him to the veterinarian. Doctors at the animal hospital tried to give him treatment, but Eli stopped breathing.

The doctors there said they tried to perform CPR on the K9 for about 30 minutes, but Eli ultimately passed away.

K9 Eli's body was sent to the University of Georgia for an necropsy.  The results help identify his cause of his death.  

The department is asking for everyone to keep Eli's handler and his family in their thoughts and prayers.

This is the second time this week the department has been hit with tragic news. Retired K-9 Eros also died. Eros worked from August 2013 to June 2018 alongside his partner Cpl. Brandon Townley.

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