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.
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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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