SOUTH PASADENA, California -- The South Pasadena Police Department in California just added a K-9 team to its force, but don't expect the duo to solve any crimes.
Police Chief Arthur Miller designated 8-year-old Sophia Angelats and her German shepherd Lucy as honorary members of the department Wednesday morning.
Lucy was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy, a spinal disease in dogs that progressively robs them of movement.
The Angelats family calls it the dog version of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
To help alleviate the condition, the Angelats family outfitted Lucy with a canine wheelchair that essentially replaces her rear legs with wheels.
"In her spine, the nerves are kind of breaking up," Sophia said. "That's why she has a wheelchair, to hold her legs up so she can walk."
The Angelats aren't sure just how long they have with Lucy before she loses all mobility, but they're hoping the recognition from the police department will help Sophia deal with the eventual loss of her lifelong companion.
In the meantime, the family is having fun with the Lucy and Sophia's new police titles.
"Last night they had a sleepover," said Lindsey Angelats, Sophia's mother. "We said it was a stakeout."
Girl, 8, and her ailing dog become honorary police in California