Police officers are holding a vigil in the ICU at the Pittsburgh Veterinary and Specialty Emergency Center for Rocco, a police dog clinging to life after losing a kidney and a lot of blood in a stabbing altercation with a violent convicted sex offender.
Three police officers received minor injuries collaring 21-year-old John Rush on Tuesday — who police said had been traveling around the country with a 17-year-old girl and was wanted in connection with a violent home invasion — but concern now is squarely on Rocco.
“The injuries to this dog are extremely life threatening,” Dr. Julie Compton, a veterinarian surgeon, told KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. “I don’t know whether he’ll survive this or not, but he’s certainly trying.”
Seven dogs, including two owned by the vet surgeon, were brought in to provide blood transfusions.
“If he can survive the next two to three days, he will have to undergo another surgery,” Compton told KDKA. “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.”
Rocco, 8, has been with the Pittsburgh Police Department for more than five years.
Rush, who already has well-worn rap sheet, can add another serious offense to it: Attacking a police dog is a felony.
If you would like to help Rocco, KDKA reported that 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.