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Bloomington Police Say Goodbye To Retired K-9 Pongo
Updated August 11, 2016 6:58 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(BLOOMINGTON) - Retired Bloomington K-9 Pongo died Sunday.

Bloomington Police Department Sgt. Dana Cole was Pongo's partner. The two had a bond that went beyond being partners - they were best friends.

The 13-year-old German Shepard knew his job. He came to the Bloomington Police Department in February 2009. He successfully tracked suspects and sniffed out drugs. He was protective of the squad car and his partner. Pongo and his partner were scene at many Bloomington community events including Indiana University football games.

Pongo retired in 2013. Retirement wasn't easy for Pongo, he redirected his protective nature to the homefront. Cole says Pongo would give him that unique stare when he'd see his Cole put on his uniform and head out the door without him and then wait by the door until Cole returned.

Over the years, Pongo developed hip problems common to the bred, but was in relative good health. But last fall Pongo began having troubles with his feet and Cole found a sore on Pongo's toe on his front paw. The spot was biopsied; it was cancer. Pongo's toe was amputated, and all seemed to be well until last week. Cole noticed Pongo was breathing heavily. Initially, Cole thought it was the heat, as Pongo was an inside dog who only went outside when necessary.

Worried about the dog's health, Cole made an vet appointment for Monday. When Cole returned home Saturday night, he could tell Pongo's breathing had worsened. So he made plans to take Pongo to the vet on Sunday.

At approximately 5:30 a.m. Sunday, Pongo woke up and Cole took him outside. He went outside and layed down and wouldn't get up. With the help of a friend Cole loaded Pongo into the car and rushed him to an emergency vet. On the way Pongo began gasping for air.

Tests found that Pongo had a huge mass in his stomach with lots of fluid that was causing his breathing problem. Surgery was an option, but given Pongo's age and other issues, the prognosis wasn't good. So Cole made the decision to have the dog euthanized.

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