K9 dogs are an invaluable part of the police force and do an incredible job saving people and keeping their communities safe, putting their lives on the line in the same way that their human partners do.These dogs become cherished members of any police force, but their most important bond is with their handlers.They are not only partners on the job, protecting each other in the line of duty, but they are also friends off the job: most handlers keep their dogs as pets.That was the case for Officer Decristoforo of the Central Falls Police Department and his K9 partner Axel. Sadly, the police dog recently passed away… and a heartbreaking photo shows just how much the loss meant to the officer.

Axel passed away last month, just a few years after retiring from the police force.He was living with his ex-girlfriend, who had adopted him.Friends of Central Fall Animals, a local nonprofit animal group, paid tribute to the dog, praising him as an excellent officer.”Axel was all business on the streets,” according to the post.”He did a fantastic job of keeping the streets safe, and he always made sure our officers were safe, no matter how dangerous the situation was.”The post also discusses Axel’s friendship with Officer Decristoforo.”He would not have hesitated to give his life to save the life of a fellow officer, particularly his partner,” according to the post.”These two were instantly best friends who were sure to have each other’s back.”With the officer’s permission, they also shared a devastating photo of Decristoforo with Axel in his final moments

“I can’t find the right words to describe Officer Decristoforo’s love for Axel, but I know he’s broken right now by the loss of his other half,” Friends of Central Falls Animals wrote.It’s clear that the two officers adored each other, and their bond is unbreakable.”The bond between a Police K9 and his partner can never be broken, not even in death,” according to the post.”K9 Axel may no longer be physically present at Officer Decristoforo’s side, but he will always be watching over him, and in his own way ensuring that he ends each shift safely, just as he did when they were out there together keeping the streets safe!”Axel, rest in peace.We know your partner and all the officers you worked with will remember you fondly.Your shift has ended.Let us honor this devoted K9 and his companion by sharing this lovely photo.