The 12-year-old Boston terrier died in his sleep Tuesday morning after a long battle with Cushing’s disease.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — After a long battle with Cushing’s disease, biker dog Chopper has finally found peace. The beloved 12-year-old Boston terrier died in his sleep on Tuesday morning.
His owner Mark Shaffer shared the news in a tweet on social media.
The San Diego Police Department also shared their sad news Twitter page.
“We are saddened to hear of the passing of one of our community therapy dogs, @chopperbikerdog. Chopper has been a faithful companion over the past decade, bringing smiles and comfort to many officers and their families.”
Despite his illness, Chopper is a local celebrity — parading the streets in his custom Harley.
He regularly visits people in hospitals, homeless shelters or hospice care. But now he is in a better place and will surely be missed by many.
A convoy escorted Shaffer and Chopper from Chopper’s home in La Mesa to a pet cemetery in the Sorrento Valley on Tuesday morning. About 30 people gathered to pay tribute to him.
“Chopper was at every event,” said La Mesa Police Chief Ray Sweeney. “He was there for ‘Shopping with the Cops,’ he’d been there for years, and Mark took him to There, he put a smile on everyone’s face.”
He added: “We lost a law enforcement officer or went through a tough time in the line of duty and Chopper would be there to give us a little kiss and make us feel better.”
CBS 8 also interviewed Gillian Larson. She’s part of the nonprofit Reality Rally, which she says Chopper has helped with for years. She said she also participated in the Susan G. Komen walk. She said Chopper always cheered for the Pacers.
“Just to honor and honor what he has done for thousands of people,” Larson said. “The machete kiss may heal more people than we know.”
Watch related: Special mural by Chopper the Biker dog (August 19, 2021)