Cargo, an RCMP dog, who guarded the prime minister and starred in recruiting ads for the force, has died after going into distress after a run with his handler.

On Monday, Cargo was taken to the veterinary office where it was discovered that he had cancer. The animal died shortly after, said RCMP in a news release on Tuesday. Cargo was set to retire next month, after six years with the RCMP, and become a family pet.

Cargo was part of the RCMP breeding program and sired 20 litters. Many of his offspring are working as RCMP service dogs.

Cargo, who was an explosive specialist, often worked with the Emergency Response Team and was the guard dog for Prime Minister Stephen Harper several times. Cargo was also featured in an RCMP recruiting commercial that's still played in movie theatres before trailers, said the RCMP news release.

The dog caught several bank robbers and this summer, rescued a woman with Alzheimer's disease in Chilliwack.

"He's been a great companion and partner as we have done a lot together and he will be greatly missed," said dog handler Const. Michael Jordan.

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  • <a href="http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Police+Rookie+takes+down+suspect+final+shift/7803659/story.html#ixzz2HkGact00">Rookie took down a suspected car thief</a> in Surrey, B.C. on his last shift before retiring in January 2013. He was a police service dog for nearly eight years.

  • RCMP Const. Jarrod Trickett and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/06/port-alberni-rcmp-dog-fights-bears-criminal_n_2253824.html">Rook, who fought off bears and then caught a criminal</a> in Port Alberni, B.C. in December 2012.

  • Cargo, seen with RCMP Const. Michael Jordan, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/11/rcmp-dog-cargo-dies-cancer_n_2280427.html?1355268059">died of cancer</a> in December 2012 after six years as an RCMP service dog.

  • RCMP Const. Michael Jordan and Cargo working at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/11/rcmp-dog-cargo-dies-cancer_n_2280427.html?1355268059">Cargo died suddenly of cancer</a> in December 2012.

  • Cargo, seen with RCMP Const. Michael Jordan, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/11/rcmp-dog-cargo-dies-cancer_n_2280427.html?1355268059">died of cancer</a> in December 2012 after six years as an RCMP service dog.

  • Cargo, seen in July 2012, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/11/rcmp-dog-cargo-dies-cancer_n_2280427.html?1355268059">died of cancer</a> in December 2012 after six years as an RCMP service dog.