Published June 24. 2014 5:58PM Updated June 25. 2014 12:15AM
New London — Police announced Tuesday the death of retired police dog “Buck,” who passed away after a battle with cancer, according to the New London Police Department Facebook page.
Buck was retired from active service by the city in 2013 to be cared for by his former handler, Officer John Michaud, and his family.
Buck’s retirement, after reportedly suffering from arthritis, raised controversy as it left just one K-9 team on the police force at the time. The union, along with several City Council members, objected and collected money from outside groups to pay for medication in hopes of bringing him back. Some had called his retirement by Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio politically motivated.
The City Council has since passed an ordinance mandating four police dog teams, though only two remain. Jasper, a cross-trained German shepherd, is handled by Officer Todd Lynch, the department’s K-9 training officer. “Bessie,” a bloodhound who was previously retired when her handler took a different job, was paired with Officer Jeffrey Nichols in September.