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Requiem For Rocco

staff writer

K-9 Member Of Sheriff’s Department To Be Honored

MEDINA- The Medina County sheriff’s staff will have a memorial service to 2:30 p.m. Sunday to honor one of their K-9 members who passes away last week.

Rocco, a German shepherd who worked with the department form 1997 until 2002, will be recognized in speeches by a chaplain and Sheriff Neil Hassinger, Deputy Neil Kohler said.

Kohler, who currently works with Casey, a 3-year old German shepherd, referred to Rocco as “the legend of the county. “If Rocco got out of the car, there was a reason for people to worry,” he said. Sgt. Jim Cartwright, Rocco’s partner, said Kohler was referring to the fact Rocco holds the record for the best racking percentage. “Rocco’s claim to fame was that he loved to track,” Cartwright said. “We always ended up knee deep in the swamps.”

Rocco was euthanized after his legs gave out, Cartwright said. “He just couldn’t stand anymore,” he said. Rocco was between 11 and 13 years old. His exact age is unknown because he was imported from Germany , Cartwright said. “Cartwright took Rocco for one last ride in his squad car,” Kohler related. “Rocco even growled once when the vet came in.

The memorial was initially supposed to be a surprise, although word got out quickly, Cartwright said. “I’m very flattered that (Kohler) thought the whole thing up,” he said. “I wasn’t  supposed to know, but it leaked out.

A memorial stone that will be placed near the sheriff’s office was donated by Summit Memorials in Akron . Other departments from Medina and surrounding counties have been  invited to attend the ceremony. The public is welcome.

“It’s really an honor,” Cartwright said. “He was my buddy.”

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