TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The Smith County Commissioners Court voted on Tuesday to approve the retirement of K9 Hunter.

Smith County Constable Precinct 5 Wesley Hicks said K9 Hunter was donated to the department by a nonprofit in 2016 after their K9 died in the line of duty.

“K-9 Hunter and Deputy Petty have developed a strong bond over these years, with Deputy Petty stating that he probably spends more time with Hunter than his own family,” Hicks said. “Hunter seems ready to slow down and spend more time with the Petty family at their home.”

K9 Hunter has worked in the Smith County Constable Precinct 5 for six and a half years assisting Deputy Kevin Petty.

Photo courtesy of Smith County.

“Hunter has assisted federal, state and local law enforcement agencies numerous times, which resulted in the arrest of criminal suspects,” Hicks said.

K9 Hunter is seven and a half years old, and the commissioners court approved that with his retirement, he will be donated to the Petty family and live with them in their home.

According to Hicks, K9 Hunter is starting to show signs of hip problems and his ready to slow down.

“It’s a no brainer,” Commissioner Precinct 3 Terry Phillips said on the vote to retire K9 Hunter.

Hicks said K9 Hunter and Petty have a strong bond and that he is ready to relax. The department has another K9 who will continue working, but Hicks said Petty will not take another K9 officer.