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UNION COUNTY, N.C. — A North Carolina sheriff’s office is mourning the loss of a beloved retired K-9.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office says Champ was surrended to the Union County Animal Shelter before he was adopted and trained by deputies to become a K-9.

Champ worked alongside his handler, Deputy Tommy Gallis, as a patron division narcotics detection K-9 from 2007 to 2014.

In 2014, Champ began a “well-deserved” retirement but stayed a part of the family as a pet of Deputy “Buzzy” Helms.

“Champ will not be forgotten and we will remain forever grateful for his service!” the sheriff’s office said.