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Beloved San Diego canine, Chopper the Biker Dog, has passed away

After a long battle with Cushing's disease, the 12-year-old Boston Terrier passed away in his sleep Tuesday morning.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — After a long battle with Cushing's disease, Chopper the Biker Dog has finally found some peace. The beloved 12-year-old Boston Terrier passed away in his sleep Tuesday morning.

His owner Mark Shaffer shared the news in a tweet on social media.

The San Diego Police Department also shared the sad news on their Twitter page.

"We’re are saddened to learn about the passing of @chopperbikerdog, one of our community therapy dogs. Over the past decade, Chopper has been a loyal companion, bringing smiles and comfort to many officers and their families."

Despite his illness, chopper was a local celebrity -- parading through the streets on his custom Harley.

He often visited people in hospitals, homeless shelters or in hospice care. But now he's in a better place and certainly will be missed by many.

A motorcade from Chopper's home in La Mesa escorted Shaffer and Chopper to a pet cemetery in Sorrento Valley Tuesday morning. About 30 people gathered to pay tributes to him. 

"Chopper shows up to every event," said La Mesa Police Chief Ray Sweeney. "He's there for 'Shop with a Cop,' he has been for many years, Mark brings him out there and he brings smiles to everybody's faces."

"We lose a law enforcement officer in the line of duty or go through rough times, Chopper is there to give us a little kiss to make us feel better," he added.

CBS 8 also spoke to Gillian Larson. She's part of a non-profit group Reality Rally, a group she said Chopper has helped over the years. She said she's also involved with the Susan G. Komen walk. She said Chopper always cheered on the walkers.

"Just to pay tribute and honor him for all he’s done for thousands and thousands of people," said Larson. "Chopper kisses have probably healed more people than we know."

WATCH RELATED: A special mural for Chopper the Biker dog (Aug. 19, 2021)

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