A retired K-9 dog who spent eight years tracking people and sniffing out drugs and cash in Johns Creek has died.
Nico and Officer George Hodge were members of the inaugural Johns Creek Police Department K-9 unit.
The department on Monday posted to Faecbook a letter that Hodge, his handler, wrote announcing the Oct. 28 death of Nico, a 12-year-old German shepherd originally from the Czech Republic. The post has more than 650 reactions and about 130 comments.
“Nico’s health began to deteriorate in retirement, some of which was attributed to the physical toll his working years had on his body,” Hodge wrote.
Hodge recounted their first deployment, which was to help the Alpharetta Police Department track and find a shoplifting suspect who had allegedly assaulted a store employee before running and hiding in a wooded area.
“That was a great moment for a first-time handler and his dog. From that very first deployment to his very last, Nico always maintained that drive, and I took great pride in his work and loved having him as my partner,” Hodge wrote.
Hodge said it wasn’t easy, but he decided that Nico would retire in June 2017. He was given a small cake at his retirement party that he quickly wolfed down.
In his retirement, Nico had arthritic hips and joints which severely decreased his mobility. He was also diagnosed with kidney failure.
There were kidney complications, but Nico died in his sleep.
“He was the best first K-9 partner I ever could’ve asked for and he will be greatly missed,” Hodge wrote.
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