The Asheville, North Carolina Police Department is mourning the death of a K-9 officer, WYFF4 reported April 8.
K-9 Diego, a Belgian Malinois, began his career at an early age after being brought to the U.S. from his Holland birthplace.
Since joining the Asheville Police Department in July 2007, Diego is attributed with finding nearly $100K in cash, more than 115 pounds of marijuana, nearly 8 pounds of cocaine and a pound of meth.
Diego had surgery to remove growths on his abdomen, and died on March 27 at the home of his handler, Officer Tanner Rhinehart.
Sgt. Dave Romick with the Asheville Police Department issued a media release describing Diego
"Diego was the epitome of a working dog. He loved every minute while on duty and often pouted when it was time to quit. Diego was a tenacious and dedicated member of the Asheville Police Department and loyal friend and partner to Officer Tanner Rhinehart."
Diego was 9-years-old and was considered a multipurpose service dog, where he specialized in narcotics detection, tracking, searching for missing persons and apprehending criminals. He had returned to work for a short time after his surgery.
I his spare time, Diego enjoyed spending time at community events, where he showed off his abilities as a valued member of the Asheville Police Department.
Rest in Peace, Diego. You served your community as well as your fellow officers. You'll be remembered as a hero.