K9 officer honored with final salute before ending cancer battle

K9 Arco's final salute. Photo from Scott Dettmer.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (WFLA) — A 10-year-old K9 officer in Arkansas was honored with a final salute last week before ending his battle with cancer.

K9 Arco started working at the Little Rock Police Department in 2013 with Officer Pat Hall, a member of the SWAT team. Hall’s family calls Arco a loyal, devoted and superior partner, and said he was a special dog who was loved by many.

Officer Hall and Arco often visited elementary schools in Little Rock, according to Hall’s wife Tina. The partners would do demos and show students what K9 officers do for police.

Before his time as a K9 officer in Little Rock, Arco served as a military K9 overseas. His former handler Eric Patenaude now works in the K9 Unit of the Wilton Police Department in Connecticut, and tells News Channel 8 Arco was an amazing partner.

Officer Patenaude says the dog was known as Harco in the military, and served as a multipurpose K9. The two spent half a year together in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, with the Marine Special Operations Command.

Last week, Arco’s family found out he had a progressive form of terminal cancer. Due to the pain Arco was in, his family made the difficult decision to put him to sleep.

Before Arco ended his battle, the Little Rock Police Department SWAT and K9 Units gave him one last ride in the police vehicle, and honored him with a well-earned salute for his service.

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