Nero, a Belgian Malinois, was shot once in the face, and the bullet entered through his left cheek and the trachea before being lodged in the K-9’s shoulder.
A retired K-9 officer and veteran police dog trainer Peter McClelland took care of Nero during this ordeal. He was also responsible for Nero’s training before the canine was handed to Sgt. Gannon.
“I ended up staying with him that night there. I couldn’t leave him, ” recalled McClelland days after the shooting incident. He stayed with the dog in the hospital, even sleeping with Nero in its cage to give him medicine and calm him through the pain.
After months of recovery, Nero was retired from service and returned to his home with Sgt. Gannon’s wife, Dara. It was the late Sergeant’s wish that Nero was to return to their home.
The Police Department’s Deputy Chief, Steven Xiarhos, said, “We had to decide: Do we try to bring him back to police work? We believe he could do it, but Sean’s wishes were that if anything ever happened, to return him to his home, and that’s what we did.”
Nero has become a symbol of resilience and hope and has received a lot of support from everywhere. His recovery has helped the police department deal with the dark days. Their precinct has endured a series of violent incidents.