Hannibal’s Police K-9 can officially begin early retirement after action by the City Council Tuesday night.

Police Chief Lyndell Davis briefed the council on “Charger’s” declining health issues that cut his career short. Davis says the dog is experiencing renal deficiencies as well as hip and thyroid problems that require considerable medications.

The 7-year-old German shepherd appeared before the council with his trainer, Corporal Grote. The relationship between the two is described as “very close”, and will continue after the council voted to release ownership to Grote and his family.

“Charger” has only been out of service a couple weeks, and hasn’t fully adjusted to civilian life—Cpl. Grote says the dog gets a little angry when Grote leaves for work without him.

Mayor Hark asked Chief Davis if he plans to get a new police canine. Davis says purchase of a new dog is not in the current budget, as the extent of “Charger’s” health conditions were not fully known during budget planning. Davis says options are being considered, however. For now, the Ralls County Sheriff’s Office and Monroe City Police are assisting HPD with K-9 services including tracking and drug detection.