NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio - Sinta, a K-9 cop in North Ridgeville, suffered a spinal cord injury on April 16 during his routine training day.
"He was basically paralyzed from the neck down when he was rushed to the Animal Clinic Northview," said Ptlm. Larkin on the department's Facebook page. "The initial prognosis was disheartening at best. The options were either he would get better or he would have to be put down within 48 hours."
But over the past few weeks, Sinta has made great improvements. He is able to walk short distances and continues to get better each day.
"His back legs are still far worse than his front but he is continuing to improve every day," Larkin posted on Facebook April 29. "Dr. Wilson says that Sinta's recovery has been amazing and that he doesn't remember seeing a dog that presented with the symptoms Sinta did recover as quickly or as strong as he has."
While that's welcome news to his handler, Larkin, and the department, Sinta still has a long road to full recovery.
"Last week, as we were leaving for therapy, I bent down to pick Sinta up and put him in the cruiser. Sinta took it upon himself to jump in without my help. It wasn't pretty, but he did it."
Larkin also said many in the community have said Sinta should be able to retire, but Larkin said you can't look at his injuries and recovery from a human perspective.
"We work so that we can retire. That is the ultimate goal. For police K-9s, retirement is the absolute worst thing that can happen. You have to remember that this isn't ‘work' to them. These are high drive dogs that consider their ‘work' to be play," explained Larkin. "Watch Sinta when he comes out of the car on a call. He is immediately at the end of the leash, tail up, ears perked...he is excited. Upon retirement, that all goes away. He is not content with lounging around the house. When I go to work now, I have to put him in my room as I leave, or he is crying and standing at the door wanting to get in the cruiser."
Physical therapy for Sinta continues but as of right now, Larkin has no reason to believe Sinta won't be able to return to work.