SHIRLEY, Ind. – Rest in peace, Charon.
The Shirley Police Department in Hancock County announced the death of K-9 officer Charon, who passed away Sunday from health complications.
Charon was the department’s only active K-9 officer. He’s had multiple procedures since 2015, when he first became ill. A crowdfunding campaign to help with surgery costs raised more than $13,000 back then.
Charon eventually returned to duty, but he got sick again earlier this year and was diagnosed with cancer. He ended up retiring early. His handler, Brian Pryor, said the doctor advised him to “spoil” Charon and “let him enjoy his last days.”
Charon served Hancock and Henry counties, and was also part of the Indiana State Police meth suppression section. He died at 7:10 a.m. Sunday, the department announced in a Facebook post.
“K-9 officer Charon passed away in Chief Pryor’s arms at their residence. If you see some slow moving patrol vehicles with lights on, please offer a moment of silence as it will be for Charon’s escort this afternoon. Charon you will be missed and we will take the watch from here!” the post said.
The department called Charon a “loyal friend” and “wonderful partner” and said he fought hard until the very end.
The department acquired a second K-9, Justice, and started another GoFundMe page to raise enough money to train her. The department set a goal of $3,500 and has raised nearly $15,000 so far.
The department’s K-9 is self-funded, meaning police rely on fundraisers and community donations. That’s why the GoFundMe campaigns for Charon’s surgery and Justice’s training were needed.