K9 Dax in full retirement mode after serving 9 years in Lake County

Lake County hero is hanging up his leash and police badge following a celebrated career in law enforcement.

Dax, the K9 officer, has been on the job since he was just over a year old. 

We caught up with Dax on Friday, where he was resting peacefully, already enjoying his retirement to the max. 

Since being injured on March 3, Dax has been in recovery. He is able to walk again, but his team of veterinarians believes what's best for him is to take a step back from what he loves. 

"I knew right away. I mean, he yelped, which he never does. Still finish the job, held on to the suspect until he was taken into custody, but as we were walking back to the squad, his hind legs were giving out, so I immediately knew something was wrong," said his handler Deputy John Forlenza.

The K9 has been with the Lake County Sheriff's Office since 2015, joining the force when he was just 13 months old. 

Since then, he's located over 400 missing endangered people, fleeing felons and helped recover illegal drugs, millions of dollars and dozens of firearms. Deputy Forlenza said he’s even helped him.

"There was one specific incident where we were in a shooting and, you know, if he didn't intervene and did what he did in the situation as he was trying to do, I'd probably not be here," said Forlenza.

Dax has received hundreds of cards, gifts and flowers, congratulating him on his retirement. 

There will be a public retirement celebration for Dax Wednesday at the Libertyville substation at 11 a.m. That's located at 1301 North Milwaukee in Libertyville.