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‘Legendary’ BC police dog hangs up his harness after 6-year career

The RCMP is paying tribute to a beloved and essential member of the force who is retiring after a long and successful career.

Police service dog Garner called it quits on Tuesday, although the RCMP admitted that the German shepherd would have kept working if it was up to him.

“On Jan. 11, the legendary member of the RCMP’s Lower Mainland integrated police dog service (IPDS) hung up his harness for the last time after nearly six years on the job,” explained an RCMP release.

<who>Photo Credit: RCMP</who>Garner and his handler Cst. Chris Cottrill during the police dog's final shift on Tuesday.

Known for his thunderous bark and handsome face, Garner had a memorable career serving nearly two-million residents in the Lower Mainland alongside his handler, Cst. Chris Cottrill.

“Garner’s drive and desire to work was unmatched,” the RCMP added. “Out of the countless calls for service they attended together, their partnership resulted in 246 successful apprehensions.”

Those apprehensions include tracking and locating three homicide suspects in two separate events that were happening in real time, the RCMP said.

One of his most notable busts was also his largest, as Garner sniffed out $2-million worth of narcotics being smuggled across the border into Canada.

<who>Photo Credit: RCMP</who>Garner was very proud after sniffing out $2-million worth of narcotics being smuggled across the border into Canada.

Throughout Garner and Cottrill’s six-year partnership, the pair’s work led to multiple charges and convictions in a number of major cases around the Lower Mainland.

“Garner was beyond fearless in protecting his handler and anyone else in danger, and courageously saved his handler’s life on several occasions,” the RCMP explained.

“Whether he was whining out of excitement or spinning to get out of the truck to chase the bad guys, Garner’s energy and presence will be greatly missed by his colleagues on the IPDS team.”

Police said his retirement will no doubt be filled with a lot of well-deserved rest, two-ball fetch and swimming alongside the Cottrill family.

Cottrill will begin training with a new dog in the near future.

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