Pasco County, Florida -- A Pasco County deputy spoke with 10 News Wednesday about the sudden loss of his K-9 partner.

Deputy Robert Wilkins said he brought Lee for a routine exam on Friday, Jan. 18 and that's when the veterinarian found a large tumor on his hip. Tests revealed it was cancer and Lee died in his sleep Monday. He was 9 years old.

Lee was a full-blooded German Shepard who was imported from Germany eight years ago. Wilkins and Lee had worked together since he was a pup and was also one of Wilkins' family dogs.

Lee had worked for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office for seven years in narcotics and patrol.

Deputy Wilkins said he hasn't decided if he will stay in the K-9 unit and get another dog.

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