PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A green blanket comforts Rocco as a team of veterinarians tend to him in the ICU at the Pittsburgh Veterinary and Specialty Emergency Center.

“The injuries to this dog are extremely life threatening,” said Dr. Julie Compton, a veterinarian surgeon. “I don’t know whether he’ll survive this or not, but he’s certainly trying.”

Rocco is 8-years-old. He’s been with the Pittsburgh Police Department for more than five years.

He was stabbed while police were chasing down a suspect in Lawrenceville Tuesday night.

Police describe 21-year-old John Rush as a dangerous guy. They say he’s a convicted sex offender and was wanted for a violent home invasion. More recently, police say he’d been traveling around the country with a 17-year-old girl.

Police finally tracked him down.

“The dog was apparently stabbed. [The suspect] was subdued when he was tasered again by a deputy,” said Allegheny County Sheriff William Mullen.

Three police officers received minor injuries, but the concern now centers on Rocco, who lost a lot of blood and a kidney.

Seven dogs, including two owned by the vet surgeon, were brought in to provide transfusions because Rocco’s still in danger.

“If he can survive the next two to three days, he will have to undergo another surgery,” said Dr. Compton. “If he can survive that, I don’t know if he can make it back to the force or not, but at least he can retire happy.”

Pittsburgh Police are clearly upset. Many of them are holding vigil at the vet emergency center.

Meantime, Rush is in a lot of trouble. He was already a fugitive, but attacking a police dog is a felony.

If you would like to help Rocco, donations are being accepted to the Rocco Medical Fund. Checks can be made out to the Rocco Medical Fund and mailed to the Pittsburgh Police FCU:
1338 Chartiers Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15220

You can also stop by or call the Pittsburgh Police Federal Credit Union Monday though Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except holidays at 412-922-4800.

Click here for more information on the Rocco Medical Fund.

3 Officers Injured, K-9 Stabbed During Lawrenceville Arrest (1/28/14)
More Reports by Paul Martino

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