Authorities in western Oregon say a police dog a few weeks away from retirement has been killed by a hit-and-run driver.
The Eugene Police Department in a news release Saturday said the 8-year-old German shepherd named Blek died Friday evening while off duty with officer Rob Griesel in rural Lane County.
Police Chief Pete Kerns said Blek had been a go-to dog for the department and had a warrior’s spirit.
Earlier this year the Oregon Peace Officers Association honored Blek at its K9 Valor Awards for his capture of a suspect following the shooting of a law enforcement officer.
Authorities declined to release details about the hit and run, and say they have been unable to find the driver.