PASCO, Wash. - The Pasco Police Department announced that K9 Officer Lemon is retiring as of Tuesday due to health concerns.
Lemon became a part of the department in 2011, and during his eight years there helped with dozens of investigations.
In a Facebook post, officers wrote this about Lemon: “He has located suspects waiting to ambush officers, forced his way through corn fields, into dense brush, under houses to locate suspects and swam into the water to bring in suspects. Lemon has assisted in illegal narcotics seizures across our area. He has been punched, kicked and injured; his tail wagging the entire time.”
The post goes on to say that K9 Lemon’s body can no longer keep up with his drive. They said that Lemon turns 10 in January, and that is the expected working life of a police K9.
In September, Lemon needed an emergency surgery for a twisted stomach. He had recovered and returned to work before he showed signs of complications, and on October 27 he needed surgery again.
Police say Lemon is still recovering from that second surgery, and his health concerns are too great for him to return to service.
Lemon will be retiring with Officer Madsen and his family.
In the post, his handler wrote this, “I wanted to take a moment to thank the community for their years of support for K9 Lemon and our K9 program. It is humbling to know that so many are out there rooting for Lemon on his deployments and praying for our safety as we work. It has been an honor to share Lemon with our community groups, schools, Cub Scout troops and youth organizations. The years I have spent with Lemon have made me a better police officer and person. Thank you all for everything. K9 Lemon is as much your dog as he is mine, so I will make this promise to you: Lemon will have a happy and comfortable retirement with his family, and he will not want for treats or belly rubs. He has earned it.”