After graduating from the Holmdel Police K-9 Academy with his partner K-9 Officer Joseph Van Pelt, DiOGi earned multiple life saving medals, helped to find missing children and adults with Alzheimer's, and assisted in hundreds of narcotics investigations that result in countless arrests.
"(K-9's) are excellent tools and DiOGi was one of the best," Holmdel Police Chief John Mioduszewski said. "And DiOGI spent the last seven years doing what he loved, and that is working beside Joe each and every day."
On Friday morning, Van Pelt gave his 8-year-old partner a kiss on the head and then walked him into the animal hospital where DiOGi was euthanized after a lengthy and painful battle with terminal leukemia.
Dr. Mary Beth Morgan said she administered DiOGi the injection, which she compared to an overdose of sedatives.
"He died as peacefully as we could have hoped," she said. "He had no stress or pain."
Like many of the people in attendance, Morgan showed outward signs of emotion during the farewell salute to DiOGi.
"When you see all the officers and K-9's lined up - and not just the police officers, but their families and friends – you can tell (the dog's death) is almost like a double loss for them," Morgan said. "They're not only partners at work, but they live together. They're together 24/7. It's absolutely an emotional time."
After DiOgi was euthanized, the sound of a dispatcher was played over a speaker: "All units be advised, this is the final call for K-9 DiOGi. ... DiOGI has been a beloved member of the Holmdel Township Police Department and his years of service and dedication will never be forgotten."
Mioduszewski followed with a few words about DiOGi and then the officers in attendance took turns offering Van Pelt and his wife condolences before leaving the animal hospital.
"As you can imagine, the bond between a police officer and his K-9 partner go far beyond that of a typical pet owner," Mioduszewski said. "I think (the farewell ceremony) shows, especially in law enforcement, how much we depend on these dogs, how they become a part of our lives and when then leave, it's just like a person, you miss them."
Holmdel Police Department
End of Watch:
Friday, October 24, 2014