K9 Chewy has officially been retired by the Pine County Sheriff’s Office.
Chewy was introduced to the department in 2016 as apart of the re-establishment of the K9 program in Pine County.
He was retired following the untimely passing of his handler Deputy Ben Neel in January of this year.
The retirement ceremony was held during the February 4 Pine County Board meeting. It was during the ceremony that Pine County Sheriff Jeff Nelson spoke about the impact both K9 Chewy and Deputy Neel made in Pine County.
"Chewy made Deputy Neel a better deputy, the department a better department, and the community a better community." Sheriff Nelson went onto say, "Words can't truly wrap up what the K9 program, Chewy being the first one to come back into that program, what it has meant to the department."
K9 Chewy will spend his retirement with the Neel family.
Along with the K9's retirement, the Pine County Board accepted a donation from McDonough K9 for a replacement dog for Chewy and training for the K9's handler.
According to Sheriff Nelson, the sheriff's office expects to have the new K9 in service by mid-spring at the earliest.