Santa Rosa K-9 Suffers Career Ending Injury

March 31, 2011

An Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office K-9 has suffered a career-ending injury, leaving the department short a much needed K-9.

From the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office Public Information Office Sgt. Scott Haines:

On Thursday, March 24th, 2011, Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office K-9 “Gero”, along with his handler, Deputy Andrew Magdalany, anxiously started his shift just as he has since 2006.

That night, K-9 Gero was scheduled to perform a demonstration for Sheriff Wendell Hall’s “Citizen Law Enforcement Academy”. As Gero was giving his best performance, it was obvious to Deputy Magdalany that something wasn’t quite right.

As the performance ended, Gero limped back to Magdalany’s patrol vehicle and got inside. Deputy Magdalany could tell that something was wrong with one of Gero’s rear legs. Gero, who is nine years old, was taken to his veterinarian.

It was then that Gero was diagnosed with a severed ACL and a torn meniscus, both which are career ending injuries for a K-9 of that age in the law enforcement field.

Gero is being retired, but will still be undergoing surgery in the very near future so that he will be able to maintain a reasonable quality of life after his devoted service to his community and fellow officers.

Gero recently received recognition for his performance in the U.S. Police Canine Association Region 1 Field Trials in Fort Walton Beach.

The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit is comprised of four K-9’s; one of which is Gero. Another K-9 ,Banja, (soon to be 8 years old) is required to be retired in the near future for health related issues. These K-9’s are responsible for narcotics detection, criminal apprehension, and the tracking of missing persons. With current budgetary restraints in place, it is not possible for the Sheriff’s Office to provide funding to replace these two K-9’s out of the Sheriff’s Office budget.

The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office is currently accepting donations from community minded business leaders and the public to replace K-9 Gero, and the future replacement of K-9 Banj” in order to effectively provide the much needed K-9 support to deputies and citizens of Santa Rosa County.

To purchase one law enforcement K-9, the approximate cost is $10,000.00. Anyone wishing to contribute can contact K-9 Sergeant Chris Turcic at 850-983-1219. A special account has been established for any donations that are received. Please join us in wishing Gero a speedy recovery after his upcoming surgery. Photographs of K-9 Gero are attached to this email.

Pictured: Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Gero. Submitted photos for, click to enlarge.


4 Responses to “Santa Rosa K-9 Suffers Career Ending Injury”

  1. jeremy santiago on April 7th, 2011 7:57 am

    i had a k9 too his name is axel. he’s training in washington D.C. i hope that dog in the story will be alright in the future. my dog has an injury too. a tooth of a labrador dog was reamained in his body. and this must be removed from axel’s body.

  2. just call me joe on March 31st, 2011 12:41 pm

    I hope he recovers well and has a long and happy retirement.

  3. Carol Hall on March 31st, 2011 7:31 am

    Andy I am so sorry. I know how attached to Gero you are. I also know that you will be sure that he has a great retirement. May you could give him a retirement party. I would love to come

  4. 9 year old working dog? on March 31st, 2011 6:21 am

    I’d say the Santa Rosa sheriff has gotten his money’s worth out of this K-9. After all, he is nine years old and it should be about time to retire him anyway. Not being too critical, but it also looks like the department needs to get a plan in place now for several new K-9 if the replacement dog for this one is going to be eight years old soon. By the way, when is the last time the sheriff went in front of the county commission to request specific dollars for this because it is an unfunded public safety emergency? If funding for this is important to him, he should at least do that.

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