Zion police officer Robert Ogden and Canine Knox. | Provided Photo

Former Zion Police Department Canine Knox died on Friday from a health condition that had forced him to retire from the department earlier this year.

Knox developed difficulty walking and declining use of his back legs in March.

An MRI showed that Knox had a mass pressing on his spine. The condition caused him to lose some mobility and be in considerable pain.

After having served the community of Zion for just two years, Knox retired from the force due to the condition.

A GoFundMe account started to help raise money for Knox’s surgery earlier this year gathered nearly $8,000 for his surgery.

Knox’s surgery “went well,” Robert Ogden said in late March, adding that doctors were able to remove a large portion of his mass but some of it was embedded in his spine and they could not remove it.

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On Saturday, the Zion Police Department announced Knox had died Friday evening.

“Our hearts are heavy today with news that retired Zion K9 Knox passed away last night,” the department said.

“He served faithfully for two years until a sudden health condition caused him to be retired. He lived his remaining days in a loving home with his handler, Ofc. Ogden, who will miss him dearly,” the department added.

Canine Knox was 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.