Piper, a dog that patrolled the runways at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City has died of cancer.

The dog had been suffering from prostate cancer for the better part of a year and his master Brian posted on Instagram the heartbreaking news:

Friends,

It is with the ultimate sadness I must report the passing of my best friend and love of my life.

Piper passed away tonight peacefully in my arms after fighting a year-long battle with prostate cancer. He fought valiantly, and we did everything we could, but sometimes life just has to take its course.

Today, Piper enjoyed a pain-free day, filled with love from family and friends, mostly his fellow airport employees. He played soccer, got some much deserved butt scratches and yes, he chased away one last snowy owl as he sailed into the night

Piper was featured widely around the internet and in television news broadcasts once word got out about the service he performed at the airport keeping the runways free from migratory birds and debris.

While it may be rare for a dog to perform wildlife mitigation at an airport, it's said to be a very effective method:

Though rare, dogs are one of the most effective methods of wildlife mitigation at airports. K-9 Piper is one of just a handful of Wildlife Control K-9s on staff at airports in the United States.

See his many exploits on Piper's Instagram account.

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