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GPD's Hercules to retire soon

Mar. 22—GREENSBURG — Greensburg Police Department K9 Hercules is getting ready to enjoy the fruits of a long life in law enforcement.

Hercules is retiring April 1.

Appealing to the Greensburg Board of Works and City Council at the most recent meetings of the two panels, Greensburg Police Chief Mike McNealy said Hercules had been "favoring" a back hip.

After a routine visit to the veterinarian Dr. Megan Fields, it was learned that Hercules had osteoarthritis in his rear hips, with the left showing more wear than the right.

Dr. Fields recommended the K9 be retired from the force to prevent further irritating the condition.

Hercules is a 6-year-old German shepherd who has served on the GPD since March 2019, first with Officer Mitch Tuttle and then with Officer Stephen Hershberger after Tuttle left the force.

Hercules was required to mount and dismount the police SUV multiple times during his shift each day, and when involved in tracking and apprehension he frequently pulled on his harness.

Hercules has been involved in roughly 670 deployments resulting in hundreds of drug seizures. He was also used for the apprehension of more than 35 suspects during his career. All told, he has logged more than 1,300 hours of training since joinng the GPD in 2019.

"Officer Hershberger and Hercules have formed a very strong bond, and the Hershberger family wishes to accept responsibility for him as he lives out his life on their family farm," McNealy said.

McNealy added that retiring to the Hershberger farm was a good opportunity since finding appropriate homes for retiring K9s is difficult.

After due consideration, board member Lindsay Jobe said, "That sums it up, I move we retire Hercules and thank him for his service."

The board voted to approve the retirement and recommended he be treated to a double Big Mac as a reward for his service.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-651-0876 or email bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com.