One of New Zealand's most beloved police dogs has died.
Ike, the former Dog Squad television show star and patriarch of Wellington Dog Section, died on Monday in his 13th year.
He spent his operational career with Senior Constable Andrew "Junior" Douglas before retiring with Wellington Dog Section boss Senior Sergeant Mark Davidson.
Douglas and Davidson said Ike would be missed, New Zealand Police said in a post to their Facebook page.
"Ike was bred at Trentham and fostered by another Wellington police officer and family before he was assigned to Junior in 2009 for training," they said.
"They graduated as [an] operational team in 2010 and worked together until 2016 when Ike retired from operational work."
Together, Douglas and Ike placed third in the 2015 Patrol Dog Championships.
A highlight of their partnershipincluded a night-time search and rescue for a man who slipped and fell while camping out at Makara Beach cliff top, west of Wellington.
Afterwards, Douglas and fellow handler Tony Milner received a Royal Humane Society Bronze Medal for the rescue. "Ike probably got a bone."
Junior Douglas also taught Ike several tricks which delighted crowds at open days - sometimes he would even be dressed as a superhero or rugby player.
In his retirement, Ike was often spotted at work alongside Davidson but was still used for school visits, open days and even Pride Parades in Wellington and Auckland.