A much-loved police dog in the Queensland Police Service has tragically died on duty, after chasing an offender who stole a car.
Police Dog Waco and his handler, a senior constable, were following an offender who had stolen a car in Deception Bay, north of Brisbane, on Thursday afternoon when the police dog became unsteady on his feet and showed signs of heat stress.
In a statement released on Friday, the Queensland Police Service announced PD Waco passed away despite vets doing everything they could.
"Despite attempts to lower his body temperature and replace his fluids, PD Waco sadly passed away just before 5am today," the statement read.
"Waco's handler, a senior constable, is very experienced and is devastated at the loss of his dog."
The announcement has pulled at the heartstrings of locals with hundreds of comments on the Queensland Police Service page in just the first hour.
Since the death, the Queensland Police Service has reiterated how seriously the health and wellbeing of police dogs are taken.
"[We] see them as valued members of the police family," the statement read.
R.I.P PD Waco.