By Paul Martino

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LATROBE, Pa. (KDKA) — He’s been an important crime fighter for Latrobe, saving police officers and tracking down criminals. But now, Rocky, the K-9 officer, is going into retirement after being diagnosed with cancer.

Rocky’s been a part of the Latrobe Police K-9 Unit force for six years.

k9 rocky 2 Beloved Police K 9 Going Into Retirement After Devastating Cancer Diagnosis

(Source: Latrobe Police K-9 Unit/Facebook)

However, in July, Rocky’s handler said he took the dog to the vet because he “was not acting himself.” At the veterinary hospital, they found masses on Rocky’s spleen and kidneys.

Officials say the one on his spleen is “a highly aggressive form of cancer,” and, unfortunately, cannot be treated.

Rocky’s handler said on Facebook: “K-9 Rocky has been my ever faithful partner for over 6 years and has become a beloved member of my family.”

Next Monday evening, Latrobe officials will retire the loyal German shepherd at their council meeting.

Rocky’s been a force with the department – detecting crimes, preventing crimes, protecting officers and saving time and money.

In 2013, Rocky protected officers from a pit bull attack during a drug raid.

Now, he will live out the rest of his days comfortably as a pet, but he will surely be missed in the community.