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Reno's Road to Recovery: K-9 Stabbed During Arrest Getting Closer To Return

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Nearly six weeks ago, a Sacramento police K-9 officer was stabbed while trying to apprehend a suspect, and it was all captured on body cam video.

Now for the first time, we get to see canine officer Reno on his feet and back in training with his handler, officer Zachary Yasonia.

The night of Sept. 11th was a difficult one for Yasonia. His partner Reno was injured while trying to stop a man suspected of ramming a truck into a police parking lot off Marysville Boulevard.

reno improving
Police K9 Reno is continuing to recover at home and is reportedly getting stronger every day. (Credit: Sacramento Police K9 Association)

"I realized he was bleeding, and my stress level went through the roof, the highest its been while at work," said Yasonia.

Reno was stabbed twice suffering 19- and 12-inch lacerations from his shoulder down to his abdomen and has been in recovery ever since.

"He still has a mobility issue with his back right leg, other than that he still wants to run around," said Yasonia.

While Reno is not back on duty, he's in training and getting stronger by the day.

"The bond that I've built with Reno is difficult to describe, but I trust him 100 percent with my life. He means the world to me, and not only to me but my family," he said.

At 4-and-a-half years old, K-9 Reno is not only a work partner, but he lives with Yasonia and his family, and this incident has taken a toll especially on his kids.

"To see your kid try to understand his dog is hurt, or that someone tried to hurt his dog, was the hardest part for me," he said.

And just like people, Sacramento canine trainer Julian Valdez says PTSD can occur, and dogs can have triggers.

"It's just about making sure they maintain that confidence even after a traumatic incident like this," said Valdez.

But Yasonia isn't worried, he says when they choose these dogs they select the most mentally strong, and he's just grateful to have his partner back.

"I spent 11 weeks in training with Reno, I've been a police officer for 8 1/2 years, I know what I need to do, he knows what he needs to do, and we'll do what we need to do," said Yasonia.

On Thursday, Reno has to undergo a small procedure dealing with fluid build-up between his lacerations. But in 2-3 weeks he's expected to be back to full duty.

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