MARSHALL COUNTY, W.VA. (WTRF) — A beloved community K-9 would have turned 6-years-old if his life wasn’t cut short due to cancer.

K-9 Spartan served as man’s best friend alongside his owner Sheriff Deputy Nate Klempa, making them a crime-fighting duo of Marshall County that also brought countless smiles to the Ohio Valley.

Tuesday was also National Police K-9 Day, so Happy Tails Pet Salon in McMechen, who groomed Spartan for years, planted seeds tonight in the now dedicated K-9 Spartan Memorial Garden.

Flowers in Spartan’s memory will bring color to the community, and with Deputy Klempa’s blessing, other K-9s that pass will also be dedicated here.

We got donations when he was sick that we did not need to use for his medical care, so that’s why we created Spartan Share. Any money that is donated will go to a K-9 unit that needs medical care for their dog, training if they can’t afford it. The money that we collected so far will be used to purchase a Giant Schnauzer for another K-9 unit.

Terri Lindsey, Owner of Happy Tails

In July, Spartan lost his battle to stage four cancer. The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office then held a last call for their K-9 Officer.

This garden is now another way the community can share in Spartan’s commemoration.