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Serious illness sidelines US police cat, another sought

This 2018 photo released by the Michigan Humane Society shows a kitten named Badges. (Michigan Humane Society via AP)

TROY, Mich. (AP) -- A suburban Detroit police department says a cat set to be deputized for therapeutic purposes and public appearances has developed a serious illness.

    The Troy Police Department said Thursday that Badges can't perform the duties because she's been diagnosed with feline leukemia, an often fatal disease that can be transmitted to other cats.

    Michigan Humane Society spokeswoman Anna Chrisman says the group hopes to find a new home for Badges for "as long as she is with us." The Police Department's "feline handler" has other cats who could be put at risk.

    The Police Department is seeking another police cat. A new one could be officially appointed Friday -- the day planned for Badges' swearing-in.

    Troy police say in a tweet that Badges will always be the department's "first 'pawfficer.'"

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