SUMTER COUNTY, S.C. — On Friday, the Sumter County Sheriff's Office held a retirement ceremony for K9 Dina after nine years of service.
"Happy retirement," Sheriff Anthony Dennis said, as he presented a plaque of recognition to her handler Cpl. Evan Rogerson.
Dina sat with a smile, enjoying her chew toy, as more gifts came forward. She received a painting of her and partner Rogerson and a charm for her collar that read 'GIRLS RULE.'
Perhaps the most meaningful gift will be her forever home with Rogerson, who said he just couldn't let her go after four years as partners.
During their time together, Dina assisted with several search and rescue efforts, including helping to find a child lost at an abandoned trailer, and apprehending suspects running from their vehicles.
Rogerson shared mixed feelings as his retiring partner entered a new chapter in life.
"I put her collar on and she knew that was just like me putting my vest on. She knew, now I get to go and have fun," Rogerson said. "I think I'm going to miss that the most... but, it's a good thing."
Dina was the only female K9 officer at the Sumter County Sheriff's Office, but another female named Tara is in training to take her place.
Rogerson says Dina was having some hip issues and looks forward to her being able to be a normal dog.
"I know that it's best for her to be able to live a happy, normal dog life now," Rogerson said. "Instead of trying to go get bad guys, now she can just go chase squirrels in the back yard and be happy."