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Archive for December 19th, 2009

Minus a leg, police dog back on duty

yaskoA California police dog who lost a leg to bone cancer is back on the job.

Although his duties have been cut back, and uncertainties remain about his future health, Yasko, a 7-year-old German shepherd who works for the Paso Robles Police Department, showed no signs of cancer after the surgery, without which he probably would have had less than a year to live.

“This is where he wants to be,” Officer Tod Rehner told The Tribune in San Luis Obispo. “He loves working.”

Paso Robles’ Friends of the K-9 Inc., aided by a $1,000 donation from Wal-Mart, raised money for the dog’s $1,500 surgery,according to Sgt. David Bouffard, another canine handler and Friends’ president.

Yasko will only be used in drug investigations now, though he is trained in protection, tracking, searching, apprehension and narcotics detection.

“He’ll still be very effective at that, so we’re lucky, but this is a big loss to our program,” Bouffard said. “Yasko was one of the better tracking dogs in the county.”

Twins plead not guilty in burning of Phoenix

phoenix4Twin brothers Tremayne and Travers Johnson entered pleas of not guilty Friday to animal cruelty charges in connection with the death of Phoenix, a pit bull puppy set on fire in Baltimore this summer.

The 17-year-olds, charged as adults, are being held without bail. Their trials are scheduled for February and March, the Baltimore Sun reports. Both are are also charged, in connection with a separate case, with gun and drug possession.

Phoenix was found burning by a police officer. She survived for several days before taking a turn for the worse and having to be put down.