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Judge, a seven-year veteran of the K-9 corps, received a hero’s tribute as he arrived at a New Jersey animal hospital for the last time on Friday.

Nearly one hundred officers and their dogs from the West Deptford police department stood at attention as the German shepherd entered the Swedesboro Animals Hospital on Friday Despite some initial doubt that he would be able to make the walk, he did so under his own power carrying the protective sleeve used in training K-9 dogs for service in his mouth. Cpl. Michael Franks, Judge’s partner since he was a rookie pup, accompanied him.

Police and their K-9 partners came from around the region to be a part of the tribute. “It’s about showing respect. The people who are here wanted to thank Judge for his service to the community,” said Sgt. Dan Eliasen, “no one has forgotten what he done.”

Judge retired in 2014 due to health issues after a career that included 152 suspect apprehensions on 280 deployments. He was involved in numerous drug busts sniffing out $47,000 in drug money, three handguns and three stolen cars.

One of his responsibilities as a K-9 cop was to protect his human partner, and he lived with Cpl. Franks and his family throughout his life. “He was an excellent work dog and family dog. He knew when it was time to work and was great with kids at demonstrations,” said Franks. He and his family cared for Judge after he was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease.

Judge was beloved by the community, which held a marathon fund-raiser to help pay mounting medical bills as he battled the painful and debilitating disease. As he entered the animal hospital where he would be euthanized, Judge carried his favorite toy and the veterinary staff lined the hallway in appreciation of his years of service.

 

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