HOUSTON – A touching ceremony was held Wednesday to honor a fallen Houston K-9 officer.
K-9 Rony was put down last month after suffering an injury in the line of duty. He shattered his leg while chasing a suspect.
His veterinarian and handler made the heartbreaking decision to put him down.
On Wednesday, fellow four-legged officers and K-9 handlers honored Rony's years of service with a final dispatch call for the dedicated dog.
The ceremony also included the playing of “Taps” and a flyover by HPD helicopters.
Rony had been with HPD since 2011.
In 2013, he was seriously hurt and a vet said he wouldn't work again. But Rony's handler, Officer Dennis Shadden, nursed him back to health with daily exercise sessions in the pool. Against all odds, Rony was able to return to work.
Critics lashed out when the decision was made to put Rony down this time. On Wednesday, Chief Art Acevedo had some strong words for them.
"I want to address the critics out there... I got a little pissed off with the idiots out there criticizing our decision that we made on a four-letter word, it's a good four-letter word -- love -- for a dog," the chief said. "We know what kind of spirit he had. There's a reason he led the department in captures."
Rony and his handler averaged 50 arrests a year.