For nine years, Sultan served alongside Officer Micheal Vogel with the Yarmouth Police Department as its very first K9 unit. The hardworking dog was used in more than 1,000 calls, tracking down suspects, sniffing out narcotics and aiding in the search for missing persons.
Even after Sultan retired in 2012 to live with fellow officer Shane Stephenson and his family, his companions on the force never forgot about him - and that was especially true during his final days.
Sadly, after two-and-a-half healthy years of retirement, the 13-year-old German shepherd's health quickly began to deteriorate in early February. When Sultan stopped eating normally and was no longer able to move around on his own, Stephenson made the heartrending decision to have his beloved pet euthanized, the Press-Herald reports.
"It's been a struggle just to get him up on his feet," Stephenson told the newspaper. "There are some days when we've had to hold his head up so he can eat and drink."
On Feb. 13, the day that was to be Sultan's last, dozens of police officers, firefighters and EMTs from Yarmouth and neighboring departments gathered together to see him. One by one, each of them spent a moment with Sultan, his body now frail and weak, to pat his head and say good-bye for the last time.
"It's hard, very hard, to put your dog down and when you have all this support, it makes it so much easier," Stephenson told news outlet the Forecaster. "It's all for Sultan. He was an unbelievable dog. ... Sultan was a very good dog."