Puppy with bad heart sworn in as honorary K9 officer

HAMDEN, Connecticut -- His days might be numbered, but thanks to a loving owner and a local police department, a puppy with a bad heart and a bucket list, is now an honorary K9.

Hamden’s newest K9 is named Arlo. Not only does he look the part, but now he got to play the part, at least for Monday.

"He wasn't supposed to make his three-month checkup, which was the end of October. He wasn't supposed to make six months, that was the death date, next week he'll be six months old and he's doing great,” said Ashley Sakelarakis, of Woodbridge Animal Control.

On Monday, with a police badge pinned to his collar, Hamden police made Arlo an honorary K9.

Arlo was born with a heart defect, and sadly his days are numbered.

"It’s the narrowing of the aortic valve. Most dogs it’s just kind of a ring, since is tunneled. There is a surgery they offer for this disease, but they do not offer it for his severity, he'll never make it out,” Sakelarakis said.

Sakelarakis decided to make a bucket list for man's best friend, after adopting Arlo from the Branford Animal Shelter.

An animal control officer in Woodbridge, who grew up in Hamden, she reached out to K9 Officer Kelley Cushman, who's friends with her sister, to see if they could do something for Arlo.

"It makes me so happy, I love having the opportunity to work with animals, to work with Sar and be a K9 officer, but to give back to someone who shares the same love and just wants the best for their dog,” Cushman said.

While he's now an honorary member of the force, this is just one of the number of bucket items he was able to cross off and there are a few more on tap.

"He's done various things such as visiting your news station, he's had burgers and ice cream, he's visited the beach, we're working on visiting another state,” Sakelarakis said.

She added that Arlo’s numbers have improved a bit, but admits its bittersweet not knowing when he could take a turn for the worse.

For now, she says she's just thankful for this puppy's time, and the attention he's getting.

"It’s great, I love it,” Sakelarakis said.

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