SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department is mourning the loss of police K-9 Pavo who died on Thursday, October 8. The canine was a seven year veteran of the force.

Pavo passed away after suffering complications from a medical condition. He was a cross-trained Belgian Malinois from the Netherlands, who worked alongside his partner-handler, Officer George Mendez, as a narcotics detection and patrol K-9.

“Pavo was a loyal partner and family to all of us,” remarked Sergeant Roberto Villegas who heads the K-9 Unit. “Our hearts go out to Officer Mendez and his family.” Department canines go home with their partners at the end of their shifts and become part of their partner’s family.

According to a press release from the SMPD, any K-9 that works for the department routinely puts their lives on the line to protect those who are sworn to protect. Pavo died while at the home in the care of Officer Mendez and the treating veterinarian.