Wellington Police have announced the death of their beloved police dog Hades, after a month-long battle with cancer.
Nine-year-old Hades - described by Wellington Police Dog Section as "the elder statesman" of the district's patrol dogs - died just hours after completing his final shift.
Hades became very ill on Sunday morning, and police made the difficult decision to put him down.
He and his handler, Senior Constable Sue Burridge, had worked together for five years - and their teamwork resulted in "hundreds of catches", a police statement said.
"Hades has had a great career and with Sue has been part of a very good operational team," Senior Sergeant Mark Davidson of the Wellington Police Dog Section said.
"They've contributed a huge amount to police and the public."
An adept search and rescue dog who was also trained in victim recovery work, Hades made it to finals of the 2014 Police Patrol Fog National Championship and featured in two reality TV shows, Women in Blue 2 and Dog Squad.
He was also the inspiration for a children's book about the experience of being a police dog handler called The Adventures of Ace, written by Snr Const Berridge.
He was sadly diagnosed with cancer in September, and succumbed to the illness on Sunday. Hades had worked a final late shift on Saturday evening, where police said he made some "positive tracks".