A Police Dog shot and killed while on duty has been laid to rest in New Zealand, wrapped in his country’s flag.
Gazza, a four-year-old German Shepherd, was shot during an armed siege in Porirua, on the North Island, on 22 April.
Shooter Pita Tekira had been on the run after ditching an electronic monitoring bracelet used to keep track of some people subject to bail conditions.
The stand-off lasted 26 hours, during which a Police officer was also injured leaping from a second-storey window to escape from Tekira.
It ended when Tekira was found dead.
Gazza became an operational police dog in 2013 and was from a family of police dogs.
His sister Gabby is a patrol dog in Hamilton, aunt Hades is a patrol dog in Wellington and another sister Gypsy recently gave birth to 11 puppies, with at least one expected to become a police dog.
Police dog Gazza and his Handler Constable Josh Robertson. Pic: NZ Police
Last year he was involved in an incident where he was choked by an offender after tracking him for 3.5km.
Gazza and his handler Constable Josh Robertson are also due to appear in a pre-recorded episode of local television series Dog Squad.
New Zealand Police posted a photo on Facebook of Gazza at his funeral, writing: “Today we said farewell to our friend and colleague, Wellington Police Dog Gazza.
“His job was to obey, serve and protect. This he bravely did.”
National co-ordinator of police dogs inspector Todd Southall said a plaque bearing Gazza’s name and his service details would be placed on a memorial wall at the Police Dog Training Centre in Trentham, alongside 23 other police dogs who have been killed on duty.