K-9 Officer Recovering, Donate to Reno's Health Care

Fresno, CA -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7/15/2009 11:00am UPDATE:
The K-9 officer injured Tuesday during a deputy involved shootout has started walking and eating.

The dog Reno is in stable but guarded condition, but hospital staff said he appears to be in good spirits.

Captain Jennifer Horton said, "We have a show of support not only from our agency but Fresno Police Department. We have other K-9's that have offered up if we need blood for the dog, but we don't need that right now."

Horton says Reno and his partner were in a back lot of a business looking for a gunman hiding between tall stacks of wooden pallets. During a shootout with deputies, a bullet hit Reno in the left eye. Despite surgery, the four-legged deputy lost his eye. His handler was by his side the entire time. Captain Horton said, "He's obviously upset and we're working through that."

These professionally trained K-9's often become part of the handler's family because the dog goes home with them every day. Buying and training these fearless creatures can cost a law enforcement agency around $10,000 each. For the Fresno County Sheriff's Department, they are a huge investment, personally and professionally. Horton said, "For us it's the equivalent to a body, a person. So anytime one goes down obviously it does impact the agency as well as the officers."

During a late afternoon news conference Sheriff Margaret Mims said the bullet that hit Reno came from the suspect's gun. She also confirmed that Reno's days as a deputy are over. He will be retired. The loss of an eye is just too much of a disadvantage for him. The Sheriff's Department has seven other K-9's but no word yet on whether they will replace Reno.

Sheriff's Foundation for Public Safety
2200 Fresno St.
Fresno, Calif. 93721

Write K-9 Fund in the memo section

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