LAWRENCE, Ind.-- A Lawrence police officer says the bond between K9s and their handlers is not only strong, but unbreakable.
Officer Matthew Hickey has been with his partner, Axel, for three years and says they're inseparable. Officer Hickey says Axel has developed a special relationship with him and his family.
"To the dog, the handler is his entire life," said Officer Hickey.
Fallen Boone County Deputy Jacob Pickett and his K9, Brik, were partners for two years.
Officer Hickey says Brik is likely going through trauma and separation knowing his partner is gone. He says it's important Brik continues to spend time with Deputy Pickett's family.
"That really tight bond with the family, with the pack, and that’s probably the best thing you can do is to allow that family to continue in that dogs life," Officer Hickey explained.
Officials with the Boone County Sheriff's Office have not confirmed whether Brik will retire and be with Deputy Pickett's family or continue working with another K9 handler. They say it's likely a handler will escort Brik at the Deputy Pickett's funeral ceremony.
"That dog is going to be going through a process and I'm sure they’re going to be aware of that and give that dog the proper care," said Officer Hickey.
Officer Hickey says it's likely Brik will play an integral part of Deputy Pickett's funeral and will be right next to his partner during the ceremony.