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A photo of a police officer saying goodbye to his K-9 partner is breaking hearts across the country.

Officer Michael D’Aresta of the Middletown Police Department in Connecticut learned devastating news this week that his K-9 partner, Hunter, had an aggressive form of liver cancer. Sadly, veterinarians recommended that he be euthanized.

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Photos of D’Aresta carrying his dog into the vet’s office on Friday have gone viral on Facebook. As D’Aresta carried Hunter, officers saluted their colleague one last time.

“So as you can imagine, this is extremely difficult for Mike and his family,” the police department wrote on Facebook.

Hunter served the city of Middletown since 2007.

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