Police officers pay respect to Springettsbury Township K-9

DOVER, Pa. -- Police across Central Pennsylvania said goodbye to a colleague and four-legged friend.

Springettsbury Township K-9 Officer Petro was put to sleep Thursday night after serving in York County for six years.

York Dispatch made one last call for the officer: "It is with great sadness that the Springettsbury Township Police Department announces the passing of police K-9 Petro."

Police officers and K-9s line the parking lot at Dover Area Animal Hospital in York County to say their final goodbyes to Petro.

They saluted the 11-year-old German Shepherd one last time for his service. Petro was Officer William Polizzotto's partner.

Springettsbury Township Police Sgt. Brian Wilbur said, "Their bond is very strong. They work together every day. The dog lives with the officer so he goes home with him every night."

Polizzotto had to put Petro down after vets said he was anemic. The officer let his companion die peacefully in the back of his police car.

Wilbur said, "It's a sad time. Like I said, not only has Bill worked with the dog, but every member of our department has had experience with Petro."

One by one officers approached the car to give Petro one last pat.

"It's also nice to have the support of other departments to come and give their regards to Bill and also the department for the loss of one of their officers," Wilbur said.

Petro was trained in narcotics detection and patrol operations. He was born in Germany and formed a bond with Polizzotto.

Wilbur said, "He was amazing with the dog. They worked well together. The dog was one of the best dogs in the county I've been told as far as the job that he did."

The final words of the last call were: "Petro will be greatly missed by the officers of Springettsbury township and the officers he worked with throughout York County. Godspeed Petro."