Much loved Wellington Police dog Hades has died.
Hades, who turned nine last week, was the elder statesman of Wellington Police District's patrol dogs.
Police said that Hades had worked closely with Senior Constable Sue Burridge as a high performing team for more than five years, tracking and making hundreds of catches and arrests during his time in the force.
The dog also provided inspiration for Burridge's junior fiction book, The Adventures of Police Dog Ace, which was published last month.
Hades died within hours of finishing a late shift with his handler.
Last month Hades was diagnosed with cancer and although retirement was beckoning, he kept working to the end including some positive tracks on what was to be his last shift.
"Sadly he became very ill yesterday morning and had to be put down.
"Hades has had a great career and with Sue has been part of a very good operational team," says Senior Sergeant Mark Davidson, officer in charge of Wellington Police Dog Section.
"They've contributed a huge amount to police and the public."