Sunday, July 25, 2010

Yasko The Three-Legged Crime Fighter

Yasko the German Shepherd had the distinction of being only three-legged member of the Paso Robles, California police force. Although he was diagnosed with bone cancer last fall and had his left hind leg amputated, Yasko gamely returned to work on the canine unit within a month.

His human partner, Sgt. Tod Rehner, told the San Luis Obispo Tribune "He loves working. He doesn't know any different. To him, everything is the same as it always was."

Yasko was known for his stellar tracking abilities and regarded as a tireless detective. He knew approximately 20 police commands (all in German) and once tracked an armed suspect for 45 minutes until he successfully sniffed out his hiding place.

After his amputation, Yasko worked with Sgt. Rehner on narcotics detection. At the end of his shifts as a three-legged crime fighter, Yasko got to relax as a family dog at Rehner's home and play fetch with the kids.

Sadly, Yasko lost his brave battle with cancer in May, just two weeks before his eighth birthday and he is deeply missed by his colleagues on the Paso Robles police force. According to Sgt. Rehner, "Yasko was a great dog and a better partner."

Although this tripod's life was claimed by cancer, his legacy as a three-legged hero will endure. Yasko was living proof that pooches can and do adapt after loosing a limb, and can even carry on as professional working dogs.

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