LONOKE COUNTY, Ark. – One final ride for a Lonoke County Sheriff’s K9 battling terminal cancer.
The Sheriff’s Office held a procession through town before retiring the dog, who they say was much more than a four-legged friend.
Pajti has touched many lives over his years of service.
Whether he’s posing on the back of pick-up smirking after a drug bust, or showing a look of concern while dressed in a ball cap and hoodie.
“His personality is something that’s unbelievable.”
Sheriff K9 Deputy Pajti has served the citizens of Lonoke County well.
“He could chase after a bad guy and apprehend him, and in the next five minutes that guy could be petting him.”
But these days Pajti’s step come with a limp.
His handler, Deputy Brooks Grabil says a tumor hinders Pajti now and bone cancer is spreading.
“I mean it’s just his energy level you can tell has gone down.”
Emotions run high Wednesday at the Sheriff’s Office as Sheriff John Staley has made the tough decision to give Pajti one final ride and retire the K9 Deputy to be put down.
A ceremony that’s the first of its kind for this office.
“He’s one of the deputies. It’s important because he’s one of us.”
Deputy Grabil knows it’s time, but the bark for bad guys is still there.
“Even Now when I have to leave him at home over the last couple months, he whines when I walk out the door,” says Brooks Grabil. “It’s because he sees me in uniform and he wants to go to work.”
Now his shift ends with a full salute from an entire community.
“He would be the first one to put his life on the line for us. What I would do for a deputy I’m going to do for him,” says Sheriff John Staley.
Pajti joined the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office in 2014 thanks to donations. He was originally from Hungary.
The Sheriff is now gathering donations to add another K9 to the force.
#HEARTBREAKING: Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office puts out last call for K9 deputy Pajti. The K9 is being put down this afternoon after his battle with terminal cancer. #ARNews pic.twitter.com/2j3v8E0poh— Mitchell McCoy (@MitchellMcCoy) January 24, 2018