Police officers line up to salute K9 with terminal cancer on her final walkout

Police dogs like Candy, a German shepherd with the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office, are not just vital in law enforcement, but are also cherished companions. Candy, who served since 2014, was known for her significant contributions, including over 2,900 searches and seizing 278 pounds of narcotics. Her handler, Master Deputy II Anthony “Tony” Natalzia, saw her as family, saying, “She went everywhere with me. You see these dogs more than you see your family.”

Sadly, at age 11, Candy developed cancer that had spread extensively. “It was in her lungs, it was everywhere,” recounted a heartbroken Natalzia. When treatment was not an option, the department arranged a ceremonial farewell. Officers lined up for Candy’s final walkout, saluting her as she carried her favorite tennis ball. Natalzia lamented the loss of retirement time with Candy, but takes solace in his duty to prevent her suffering. He now looks forward to creating a bond with his new K9, Pablo.

Candy’s heartfelt departure is immortalized in the department’s tribute: “What a touching final send-off to this heroic dog — rest in peace, Candy ❤️💙.”