MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – After seven years of service, two Madera County K-9s will be retiring from service.

Officials say Arco’s last day of patrol will be April 1. Arco has been Sergeant Drew Kirchert’s partner since 2016 and was trained in both patrol functions and narcotics detection. Though not “official” team members, they have been the primary K-9 unit to assist the Madera County SWAT Team for the past three years. Arco is beginning to have issues with his hip and is now going to enjoy retirement at home with the Kirchert’s where he will be a family pet.

Gaston’s last day of patrol will be April 26th, according to officials. Deputy Eric Jackson and Gaston have been partners since 2016 and have trained in both patrol functions and narcotics detection. Deputy Jackson and Gaston were assigned to the POP team for over a year where Gaston assisted in the apprehension of wanted persons and locating hidden narcotics.

Officials say the Madera County Sheriff’s Foundation was instrumental in reestablishing the K-9 unit in 2016. Their support has allowed for the acquisition of specialized equipment for the K-9s and the handlers.

Recently, the Foundation made another donation that has facilitated the purchase of two new K-9s to ensure the team is fully staffed with four full-time K-9’s.

Sheriff Tyson Pogue says, “We are proud of the many years of loyal service Arco and Gaston have given to our agency and the citizens of Madera County. Our gratitude for the ongoing generosity of the Sheriff’s Foundation to continue the legacy of excellence and specialized services of our K-9 unit is paramount as we start this next chapter.”