Some say he's the 'elder statesman' of the Pasco PD K-9 unit, and now he is going to retire.

The department announced this week that K-9 Lemon will be leaving active duty and become another 'family' member of his handler, Officer Madsen.  You may recall a few months ago Lemon had a medical emergency called a 'twisted stomach' that required emergency surgery by Dr. Swick at Mid Columbia Pet Emergency Clinic. He came through just fine, but the next month in October, had a recurrence of a similar issue. It was at the time that officials feared despite coming through, Lemon could be injured the same way working in the field. The rigors of police dog work are believed to be just too much for his condition.

He's been kicked, punched, and jumped over numerous obstacles, scrambled through brush and bristles in his 8 years, it's hard on a dog. He's apprehended dozens of suspects, sniffed out narcotics, even swam out into water to bring in perps, all while wagging his tail. He is approaching 10 years in age, which is the career expectancy for a police dog.

So, Lemon will retire and kick back with Officer Madsen. The formal retirement is Tuesday night Nov. 12th at the Pasco City Council meeting.  Work will begin to bring in another dog to not replace Lemon (because you can't replace a special animal like that) but to fill the void created by his retirement.  Here's a few images of him, including one from a 2017 fund raising calendar where he took the wheel of Officer Madsen's patrol car.  In another image he seems to be saying, "you don't really wanna take my toy away, now do you?"  He will be missed.

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