Handler's injury forces Eastlake police K-9 into retirement after four years

EASTLAKE, Ohio - The Eastlake police K-9 with more than 500 narcotic searches will retire this month after his handler suffered a shoulder injury.

Ekko, a German shepherd from the Czech Republic, joined the Eastlake Police Department in February 2008 and worked with Ptl. John McCauley. But in September, McCauley hurt his shoulder while on duty and doctors said being a part of the K-9 unit would prevent him from healing.

"It is unfortunate that the injury suffered by the officer will prevent Ekko from working with the department. The training to try to have another officer become a handler would be too long and costly to consider at this time," the department said in a news release on Monday.

Ekko will spend his retirement with the McCauley family.

During his four years with the police department, the dog performed dozens of area searches and more than 130 building searches. Ekko was also received awards like the 2009 Top Honor for Tracking/Narcotics  from the Bil-Jac Dog Food & the German Shepherd Dog Club of Northern Ohio.

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