R.I.P. Axel.

New billboards have gone up in Kent County, honoring K-9 Axel, who died in the line of duty after suffering a medical emergency while tracking a home invasion suspect in Sparta last month.

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The billboards can be seen on the west side of southbound US-131 near the Post Dr. exit and the west side of northbound US-131 near the 44th St. exit.

Kent County Sheriff's Office, Facebook

According to the Kent County Sheriff's Office, resident Denise Bartholomew sponsored the billboards that read:

K9 Axel EOW 8/28/21
Thank you, good boy
Sponsored by Axel's biggest fan

In response to the billboards, the sheriff's office says,

Denise, thank you so much for commemorating K9 Axel in such a special way; it's bringing many smiles to our agency. The #KCSOFamily is very lucky to have your support!

The public is invited to a memorial service for Axel Saturday, September 18 at 11a.m. at Cedar Springs High School Football Stadium at 204 E Muskegon St N.E.

According to WZZM-13, Axel had served with the Kent County Sheriff's Office since May of 2019 and was the department's only explosive detection K-9.

Axel's handler, Kent County Sheriff's deputy Krystal Stuart recently shared memories of her time with Axel, who was more than a work partner to her.

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