Dante, a state police K-9, was recently put down and his handler, Trooper Christopher Coscia, penned an open letter about him. Credit: Massachusetts State Police
An emotional open letter penned by a Massachusetts State Police trooper about his K-9 partner and the decision to put him down has gained international attention.
The letter by Trooper Christopher Coscia was posted this week on the department's Facebook page. It has been "liked" by more than 8,000 people and has been written about by media outlets as far away as England.
Coscia describes his last ride with Dante, his partner of nearly nine years, before having to put him down.
"It was a ride I had I delayed for eight hours, just driving around with him as we did so many times, struggling with the decision to put him down. He sat upright, alert as ever, checking the perimeter, always on guard," Coscia wrote. "Dante is still somehow sitting upright watching me as I write about him, every once in a while sticking his head through the cage, letting me know things will be alright."
A veterinarian diagnosed Dante with pulmonary hypertension and a partially enlarged heart that caused poor blood circulation. He also suffered from seizures.
Coscia recounted some of Dante's biggest successes on their more than 2,300 rides together, including locating a man who had just killed his girlfriend and helping to rid the streets of thousands of grams of drugs.
"My story is as written, and although it jumps about it is written from the heart," Coscia wrote.