Darien K-9 officer to retire after being diagnosed with cancer

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Photo credit: Darien Police Department

DARIEN —  Darien Police Department announced Tuesday the retirement of their K-9 officer “Grizzly” after he was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer.

Grizzly, a 3 1/2-year-old chocolate Labrador, enjoyed spending time at home with his handler, Officer Leslie Silva and loved going for long walks, said Darien police.

Grizzly was acquired by the Town of Darien in September of 2016.

Officer Silva and Grizzly received state and national certifications in narcotics detection. The two officially began working together in December 2016.

Darien police said Grizzly loved visiting local schools, doing public demonstrations and meeting with community members of all ages to educate them about the police department and the K-9 program.

In February 2017, police said Grizzly began limping and experienced regular pain in one of his hind legs. Grizzly was then taken to a veterinarian where they performed several tests and determined he had a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer called Chondrosarcoma.

The diagnosis showed a cancerous tumor located in an inoperable area in his hip joint and the tumor rapidly progressed, police said.

“It was determined that the best course of action would be to retire K-9 “Grizzly” from service and return him to the care of Frank Reda of Superior K9 Services in an effort to make him as comfortable as possible,” said Darien Police Department. “This has been a very difficult situation for everyone involved.”

Police said Grizzly and Officer Silva rode their last tour of duty together on April 11, 2017.