By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
RIVERVIEW – Police K-9 officer Reno, who retired at the end of April due to degenerative myelopathy in his hind legs, will remain a family pet with Officer Eric Thome’s family.
The autoimmune disease, which causes loss of coordination in the rear legs, and eventually total limb paralysis, has no known cure. The condition is progressive, chronic and ultimately fatal, and impacts larger breeds, including German shepherds like Reno. Life span following diagnosis is six months to three years.
K-9 Reno and Thome were paired in June 2013 after completing 12 weeks of training, and were certified as a team through the National Association of Certified Canine Handlers and K-9 ATF in Taylor.
The team answered 592 calls in Riverview and nearby areas, assisting state and other local law enforcement agencies. As a team, Reno and Thome impacted more than 750 drug and trafficking arrests, through which $681,500 in forfeiture and fines were generated.
K-9 Reno participated in 32 tracks, apprehending three suspects. During the summer of 2018, he assisted in the apprehension of a home invasion suspect.
K-9 Reno also searched 45 buildings, with two notable finds. As a team, K-9 Reno and Thome participated in 38 demonstrations in Riverview.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected])