PETALUMA K–9 RICO SERIOUSLY INJURED IN TRAINING MISHAP
by Lt. Matt Stapleton, Petaluma PD
As many of you may have read in the newspaper, our award winning K9 Rico was seriously injured in a training accident on April 15th. Officer Mike Page was leading Rico in a search exercise during a training day in Petaluma that was attended by dog teams throughout the region. Rico fell from a second story landing and suffered serious neck injuries. Officer Page rushed Rico to the emergency vet hospital and the following days were touch-and-go for Rico as he endured a variety of tests and scans to identify what was damaged. Rico ended up requiring surgery and, while his future as a protection dog is probably over; his recovery is impressing the doctors to the extent that they have questioned whether he may return as a drug detection dog. We are currently monitoring his progress very closely and his potential return to service is yet to be determined.
One of the most remarkable aspects of this horrible situation was the outpouring of support that the Petaluma Police Department has received from our community. Well over 15,000 dollars poured in during the week following the announcement. Several members of TEAM 4908 (current and alumni members of PPD) also contributed toward Rico’s treatment. The treatment was originally estimated by doctors to be in the neighborhood of at least 13,000 dollars and our community has covered it.
Rico and handler Mike Page have contributed substantially to our organization throughout the course of their past 7 years of service as a team. Rico has brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars in asset seizure money, assisted in numerous suspect apprehensions and has brought joy to citizens during his public presentations. We wish Rico the best in his recovery and we are very appreciative of everyone’s support.
PETALUMA POLICE K9 RICO click below for the news article