Zion Officer Ogden and Canine Knox. | Provided Photo.

A fundraiser has been started for a Zion Police Department canine who has to retire after he began having difficulty walking and a mass was found in his spine.

Canine Knox developed difficulty walking and declining use of his back legs within the last month, his handler Zion police officer Robert Ogden said.

An MRI showed that Knox has a mass pressing on his spine. “Unfortunately, without surgery doctors cannot be certain of what exactly this mass is,” Ogden said.

The condition has caused him to lose some mobility and be in considerable pain.

After having served the community of Zion for two years, Knox will be retiring from the force. Ogden has decided to proceed with treatment for Knox out of his own pocket.

Treatment includes the surgery and many months of rehabilitation totaling approximately $12,000.

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Zion Officer Ogden and Canine Knox. | Provided Photo.

The surgery has a high probability of relieving the pain Knox is in and improving his mobility, Ogden said.

A GoFundMe account has been started to help raise money for Ogden. The account has raised nearly $7,000 with a $10,000 goal.

“Anything unused or over that amount will be donated to the Zion PD Canine program for the future teams,” Ogden said. “If you can think of other ideas to help Knox, we would love to hear them.”

“Please take a moment right now to make a donation to help Knox. He has been an important part in keeping the Zion community safe,” Ogden said.

Canine Knox is the Zion Police Department’s only canine unit and was funded almost entirely by a private foundation and seized narcotics money, according to the city.