A hero police dog took his final walk before being put down last weekend. Louis, a 13-year-old Belgian Malinois, died in the arms of his best friend and handler, Officer Steve Henry.
Louis faithfully served the Northumbria Police for over a decade. Metro reports that, over the course of his police dog career, Louis caught hundreds of burglars and rescued dozens of missing people. In 2007, he even received a national award for rescuing a woman who had tried to take her own life.
The loyal dog retired in 2015 and lived the rest of his days with Steve.
“I got him when he was just eight weeks old and spent more time with him when he was my police dog than I did with my partner,” Steve said.
“It is really sad that he isn’t with us anymore, but it was his time. He had a great life, and I am glad that he got to have three years of retirement.”
Steve took Louis for one last walk before the dog was put down, then held the dog in his arms as he died.
The Northumbria Police announced on Twitter that their beloved police dog, Louis, had died after being retired for several years.
Louis was with the Northumbria Police for over 10 years, while his handler Steve has been a police officer for 20 years.
Steve told Metro that Louis had “saved my bacon on more than one occasion.”
“We went through a lot together,” the officer said. “That creates a special bond.”
In 2007, Louis received the “Police Dog Team Operational and Humanitarian Job of the Year” award. He’d helped to save the life of a woman who was reported missing.
Louis miraculously found the woman tangled in the reeds near a viaduct, then barked on command to allow the rest of the team to find him and Steve.
The talented dog became a police dog at just 11 months old, which is atypically early.
The news of Louis’ death got quite a response on social media.
Like Steve, people are heartbroken to see Louis go, but also glad that he led such a full, happy life.
Louis wasn’t just any police dog, after all.
“Louis was the first Belgian Shepherd that the Force had taken on, and he paved the way for others as there were doubts as to whether the breed was suitable back then,” Steve explained.
“He was a real pleasure to be around, and there won’t be many other police dogs who achieve as much as he did.”
Many people want to thank Louis for his service.
The dog was involved in “countless arrests.”
While retired, Louis lived at home with Steve and fellow police dog veteran Rudi, as well as 1-year-old Ivan, who is still in training to become a police dog.
The Northumbria Police are well-known for their admirable police dogs — they have an entire Twitter account dedicated to the canines!
The dogs go through rigorous training to do their jobs.
They also happen to be ridiculously adorable!
Sadly, every dog has his time.
Rest in peace, Louis, and thank you for your many years of service.