K-9 state trooper diagnosed with terminal cancer euthanized

K-9 state trooper diagnosed with terminal cancer euthanized
Cuba, a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper K-9 was laid to rest Monday after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. (Missouri State Highway Patrol /Missouri State Highway Patrol)

BRANSON, Mo. — A Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper K-9 was laid to rest Monday after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Cuba was taken to a hospital for a hernia surgery earlier this year. During the visit, doctors discovered Cuba had cancer, and worse, that it had spread over his abdomen, KOLR reported

Because his health would rapidly decline, his handler and family, decided to euthanize him. 

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Ryan Zeller partnered with Cuba in September 2012, KOLR reported. They served in the marine patrol and were one of 10 teams working with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, KY3 reported.

“We are deeply saddened by this, but it is best for Cuba,” wife Laura Zeller told KOLR.  

The community gathered for an honor walk Monday in support as Zeller and Cuba shared their last moments together. 

“Friends and colleagues showed up to support Cuba as he performed his final act of courage,” the state patrol said on social media. “Cuba spent his lifetime in service to Missouri, and he will be missed.”

Troopers from across the state patted Cuba's head as he made his final walk. 

“He’s one of us,” trooper Sam Carpenter told KY3. “He does the same job we do just with no recognition at all. He is one of our brothers so it makes it tough. We are just all here to show support.”