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East Hempfield Township police K-9 Officer Ringo.

East Hempfield Township police's first and faithful K-9 Ringo died Thursday, the department said.

K-9 Ringo was "not doing well recently" and was scheduled to see the vet Thursday morning, police department spokeswoman Lt. Tammy Marsh wrote in a Facebook post.

A convoy of law enforcement escorted K-9 Ringo and his handler, Officer William Watt, to the Harrisburg Pike Animal Hospital for his last ride, according to a post from the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit.

K-9 Ringo, a German Shepherd from the Czech Republic, retired early this year, according to East Hempfield Township's website. He started working with Watt as the township police department's first K-9 unit in 2010, according to LNP records.

"Officer Watt lost a great partner and a K9 friend. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers as they grieve this loss," Marsh said. "We all lost a valued member of our team. Ringo served us well and will be missed."

The K-9 was certified in patrol, tracking and narcotics detection. The department purchased a new K-9 in May named Tundra. He is training and will be on patrol this summer, according to East Hempfield's website.

In a 2014 LNP report, Watt said using K-9 Ringo raised the stakes in pursuing suspects.

"One dog can completely change the game," Watt said at the time.