Besides his more serious duties, Niko was also a part-time entertainer, conducting several K-9 demonstrations at local schools, civic organizations and town events.
His illness, a cancer that affected his heart, lungs and spleen, was evident when he began experiencing an increased respiratory rate. A veterinarian performed X-rays and other tests before concluding the cancer had spread to Niko's heart, and surgery wasn't an option.
Town Supervisor Kenneth Runion said Jones would often bring Niko around the department to interact with people and show off his talents.
"It was his best friend, part of his family, and his partner," he said of Jones. "It's going to be a tough time for him.""