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Petaluma police dog recovering after surgery

  • Petaluma officer Mike Page works with his K-9 Rico during the sixth annual Sonoma County Law Enforcement K-9 Trials held at Windsor High School, June 16, 2012. (PD File)

Rico, the Petaluma Police dog seriously injured in training this week, was recovering Friday after surgery to treat a broken bone in his neck.

The 8-year-old Belgian Malinois suffered a spinal injury and other internal damage when he fell off a second-story ledge during training Monday night.

“The surgery went well. He’s wagging his tail, alert, moving his legs,” police Lt. Tim Lyons said Friday. “For the long-term prognosis, we’ll still have to wait and see how he progresses, but he’s moving through it.”

Rico, the partner of Officer Mike Page since 2007, is trained to apprehend suspects and sniff out illegal drugs.

He has helped seize more than 1,000 pounds of processed marijuana, 16 pounds of methamphetamine, one pound of cocaine and one pound of heroin — with a street value of more than $4 million. He also helped find about $1 million dollars in cash used in illegal activities.

Rico has helped capture several wanted suspects, including one who was convicted of murder.

Lyons said the department has received several donations for Rico’s veterinary care and other messages of support for the dog and for Page, who has formed a strong bond with his canine partner.

— Lori A. Carter

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