Allen Park, MI – Allen Park Police K9 Officer Phantom died on Thursday after suffering from pancreatic disease.
K9 Phantom, 3, joined the Allen Park Police Department two years ago and became partner to Allen Park Police Officer Christopher Franco, the News-Herald reported.
In June, the police dog was diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, a disease that affects the gastrointestinal system.
His veterinarian and Officer Franco were not able to find a way to help K9 Phantom manage the disease, which is not always fatal, according to the News-Herald.
Officer Franco and his family were devastated by the loss of their furry family member.
“In the house, his favorite thing to do was put his front legs on my lap and stare out the window,” Officer Franco told the News-Herald. “He was always alert, like he was still protecting me.”
He said his K9 partner was “certified for all kinds of things.”
“He could track good guys and bad guys,” Officer Franco bragged. “He could go into a building and properly track where people were. If drug money had a narcotic odor on it, he could find it. His nose was better than our eyes.”
K9 Phantom was named by the students at Arno Elementary schools, the News-Herald reported.
And he was Officer Franco’s first police pup.
“My wife didn’t think she would get as attached to him as she did,” the officer said. “I knew we would have a bond, but I didn’t expect this.”
The Allen Park Police Department posted a heartfelt tribute on their Facebook page that included a beautifully-produced video reel of K9 Phantom.
The tribute quoted the words Office Franco had posted on his own Facebook wall about his fallen partner.
“They say things happen for a reason. This reason I’ll never understand. You got sick. We did all we could to fix it. A short two years is all I had. It wasn’t long enough. We didn’t get to reach our prime together. But what did happen…I formed a bond I never thought I would. At first we couldn’t read your eyes. We didn’t know what we were dealing with. But things changed. You earned our trust. We earned yours. You became one of the most amazing additions to our family, our department and our community. You forever watched over me and my family. You allowed us to let us pet you, to comfort ourselves. You snuck in a quick kiss when we least expected it. We didn’t go by the book. It wasn’t your plan. But we adapted. I’ll never stop questioning myself. What if? Did I miss something?” the devastated K9 handler wrote.
“Phantom, we will never forget you. You changed us forever. You taught me. I learned. Love you buddy. There are plenty of balls to play with up there,” Officer Franco ended.
Plans are in the works for a proper tribute to the fallen K9 officer, the News-Herald reported.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Allen Park Police Department and Officer Christopher Franco in the loss of K9 Officer Phantom.