Rony, the K-9 officer with the Greencastle Police Department for more than eight years, was struck and killed by a vehicle early Wednesday morning near his home.

Rony was off duty when he left his property and was hit.

His death comes amid discussion by Greencastle Borough Council about eliminating the K-9 program amid budget concerns. At the instruction of Borough Council President Frank Webster, any action on the K-9 program has been removed from the agenda at council’s budget session Thursday evening, Dec. 21.

“Rony faithfully served his handler, the officers and the community of Greencastle for the last eight years,” according to a news release issued Wednesday morning by police. “The Greencastle Police Department wishes to thank the community for their support during that time and going forward. It is truly appreciated.”

Police Chief John Phillippy said he has worked with good and bad K-9s over the years and Rony was one of the best, if not the best.

“He was a phenomenal dog with a great handler and they made a great pair,” Phillippy said.