An emotional photo of a police dog paying its last respects to its fallen owner, slain Kentucky K-9 officer Jason Ellis, jumpstarted an Internet discussion about the loyalty of animals this week.
Jason Ellis, 33, was shot multiple times with a shotgun last week in a suspected ambush
after he got out of his cruiser to pick up debris on Blue Grass Parkway in Bardstown, Ky. Ellis has been a K-9 officer who, with the help of his partner Figo, worked to sniff out drugs and illegal substances. Figo was not with Ellis when he was killed.
At Ellis' funeral Thursday, the dog paid its last respects, at one point placing its paw on the casket.
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The heartbreaking image quickly made the Internet rounds, where many people commented on the bond between the animal and its owner.
"That is just the saddest thing I have ever seen,
can't help but bring tears to your eyes," one person wrote on the Huffington Post's website. "Dog is definitely a man's best friend."
"There's a reason a dog is man's best friend," another posted. "Beautifully touching — a faithful friend bidding farewell."
"I am sure the dog knew it was his master in that coffin," someone else commented. "They have a very keen sense of smell but they also have a very keen sense of insight. They also will mourn the loss of their master."
Figo has reportedly been retired as a police dog and will live with Ellis' wife and two young sons.
A $125,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest or conviction of the person or persons responsible for Ellis' death.
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