A police department gave a well deserved soldier’s salute to Judge, who is a retired New Jersey K-9 Officer. He had 280 deployments, 152 suspect apprehensions, and assisted in the recovery of 3 stolen vehicles, 3 firearms, and approximately $47,000 in alleged drug money, which all warranted this hero’s tribute. After 7 years of service at the West Deptford Police Department in New Jersey and a grueling battle with Cushing’s Disease, the time had come to say goodbye. Cpl. Michael Franks was faced with the mounting veterinary bills of his friend, partner and protector, Judge. When the cost was coming up to the $10,000 mark, a GoFundMe page was created. The community rallied together and raised nearly $12,000 to help Cpl. Franks and his family with the bills. After a surgery and rapid health deterioration, retired K-9 officer, Judge, had to be put down.
Saying goodbye to a furry family member is hard enough to endure. But when he’s also a soldier, your partner, and someone who has put their life on the line for you and your community, the loss is heartbreaking and unbearable. The only consolation would be the amazing support shown by the overwhelming turnout and touching hero’s tribute. With over 90 representatives from various New Jersey police departments, hopefully the respect shown will offer comfort and a lasting understanding of the appreciation of Judge’s service and sacrifice.
Above is K-9 Officer, Judge, a German Shepard who put in many hours of work for the West Deptford Police Department.
Pictured above are K-9 Officer Judge and his handler, Cpl. Michael Franks. Franks spend thousands of dollars of his own money in order to keep Judge alive as long as possible.
Judge anxiously awaiting his command. The two of them worked closely with each other for seven years, forming a very close bond
Judge was one of the best K-9 officers West Deptford Police Department had ever had, assisting in many cases and helping put criminals behind bars.
Officers salute as Judge approaches the vet where he will eventually be put down due to his long and painful battle with Cushing’s Disease.
Other K-9 officers lined the streets to pay tribute to this hero dog.
Great respect was shown for Judge as officers from other precincts lined up with their K-9 companions as Judge made his final approach.
As you can see, there was a huge out pouring of support for Judge and his handler.
Free services were offered by Saint Francis Veterinary Center, which helped a lot in the end. However Judge’s handler had a lot of upfront costs at first when determining what was ailing Judge.
Sobbing family members illustrate how much Judge will be missed. He was not only a K-9 officer, he was the family pet who provided love and support for his host family.
Judge takes his final bite as he walks toward the door of St. Francis Veterinary Center.
The sleeve is used in training K-9 officers, providing a cushion for other police officers to ensure their safety.
They are often regarded to as toys and the dogs hold onto them tightly. As you can see, this is a heartbreaking moment for everyone, especially Cpl. Franks.
The officers knew that Judge would be strong enough to walk himself into the veterinary clinic. And he was. They allowed him to take his final walk in front of all of his comrades.
With his sleeve in tow, he walked towards the entrance of the veterinary center.
Judge was greatly valued and will be deeply missed.
Seriously if you are not at least a little teary eyed by the end of this story, you are made of steel! It’s amazing to see the amount of support that can be given to a K-9 officer in his final moments. I’ve seen videos of police officers dropping to the ground when their K-9 companions are hurt or killed in the line of duty. This is just one example showing how much these dogs mean to the officers and that they are much more than just a weapon. They are their family.