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Colorado Law Enforcement Mourns As Police K-9 Ronin Takes Last Breath

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) - Officers from a dozen law enforcement agencies across Colorado's Front Range lined up outside a Castle Rock veterinary clinic Saturday night for a four-legged officer's final walk. Castle Rock Police Department's K-9, Ronin, was unexpectedly diagnosed with lethal health complications by staff at the Animal Care Center of Castle Pines.

Castle Rock K9 4 (CRPD FB)
(credit: Facebook/Castle Rock Police Department)

The difficult decision was made to euthanize him.

Castle Rock K9 3 (CRPD FB)
(credit: Facebook/Castle Rock Police Department)

Ronin worked with CRPD Officer Todd Thompson for five and a half years.

"My husband has been a K-9 officer for 18 years and Ronin was his third dog," Crystal Thompson, Officer Thompson's wife, told CBS4 on Sunday. "This dog was different for Todd. He was such an amazing dog with such a great personality. My husband lost his best friend and partner. He is heartbroken and lost."

Castle Rock K9 2 (CRPD FB)
(credit: Facebook/Castle Rock Police Department)

In photos posted by Castle Rock PD on Facebook, a line of police vehicles -- from sheriff's offices in Arapahoe County, Adams County, Douglas County, Jefferson County, and from Aurora, Lone Tree, Greenwood Village, Littleton, Fountain, Parker, Cañon City, and, of course, Castle Rock, police agencies -- sat with lights flashing in the Castle Pines Marketplace parking lot as Ronin's End Of Watch call was aired on police radios.

"All units," the dispatcher announced, "K-9 Ronin has answered his final call."

"Ronin passed away tonight while surrounded by his family, partners, and friends," a CRPD spokesperson wrote on the department's Facebook page. "Rest easy friend, we have the watch from here."

Castle Rock K9 7 (from Crystal Wick).jpg
(credit: Crystal Wick)

"We are blown away by the love from this community and all the other agencies who showed up last night for our boys final walk!" Crystal Thompson added.

A celebration of life is being planned for the dog.

Castle Rock K9 5 (Crystal Wick on CRPD's FB)
(credit: Facebook/Crystal Wick)

"He must have been working when he was sick," Crystal Thompson stated. "Always watching his Dad's 6."

Watching a partner's 'six' is military/police lingo for having their back, or monitoring any attacks to the rear of a formation.

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