MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — A veteran Montgomery County police officer continues to push for the return of his K-9 partner.

Marcus Washington has more on the reason the dog was taken away, and why the officer disagrees with the decision.

Officer Gil Fone and his K-9 partner, Chip, were very close. They worked together. It was surprising when the department decided to separate the two, telling Officer Fone they would not give him the location of Chip.

It was a partnership beyond the badge of the Montgomery County Police Department. Gil Fone and his K-9 partner Chip were family.

The dog would often attend special family occasions, trips and anything between–so it was a shock to the Fone family when Chip was taken away from Gil, leaving the 27-year veteran officer with no clue as to where Chip is or what would happen to his four-legged partner.

“My six kids miss him,” Fone said. “I miss him.”

The Montgomery County Police Department says the reason for the separation and the removal of Chip is because of an incident back in April, where Chip bit Gil not once, twice. Some were even questioning if Chip is too aggressive.

“No, sir. Not at all. Not one bit. He had a bad day, and I admit that he bit me,” Fone said.

But Fone says the bite was only minor.

“The first thing you’re told by a trainer is not are you going to get bit, but when are you going to get bit?” Fone said.

“The dog is a police officer. Is this any way to treat a police officer?” said protestor Bill Wells.

In response to the department’s decision, protesters stood outside of an event honoring the chief of police. He did not want to speak of the matter on camera, but says Chip was adopted by a rescue agency and is safe.

“Just wasn’t a viable option for the dog to be put back into the community, adopted by the handler or any other family,” said Captain Paul Stark, Montgomery County Police Department.

“I’m praying every day he comes home,” Fone said. “Every day.”

There is even an online petition to bring Chip back to Officer Fone and his family. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 221,000 people have signed.

Both the Montgomery County Police Department and the adoptive rescue agency say there is not–nor there ever were–plans to put Chip down.

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