Lake Villa Police Department Canine Atticus died over the weekend unexpectedly in his sleep, the department announced Tuesday. | Provided Photo

Officials announced the Lake Villa Police Department’s canine died unexpectedly on Saturday following more than five years on the department.

The Lake Villa Police Department said Tuesday afternoon that it was “with a heavy heart” to announce the death of Canine Atticus.

Atticus died unexpectedly in his sleep at home Saturday evening.

He was an eight-year-old German Shepherd who was partnered with Lake Villa Officer Bob Bell through TOPS Kennel.

Atticus started his career on June 14, 2018, replacing the department’s previous canine, Conan.

Lake Villa Police Department Canine Atticus died over the weekend unexpectedly in his sleep, the department announced Tuesday. | Provided Photo

Atticus was trained in all phases of canine patrol work, including narcotics detection, tracking, building and article searches, and handler protection.

The canine was the highlight of many of the department’s community events.

Officials said Atticus attended the “Shop with a Cop” events and all of the children enjoyed seeing him.

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“Atticus was a part of our Lake Villa Police family and will be truly missed,” the police department said.

In October, Atticus celebrated his eighth birthday and the police department posted a photo of him wearing a birthday hat on social media, which received almost 200 likes.