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Hero Police Dog Succumbs to Cancer - Morris Animal Foundation Honors 'Rocky' - Also Honored 'Rocky' Six Years Ago When He Was Shot

- Rocky Loses Cancer Battle on the Anniversary of His Heroism

- Morris Animal Foundation Leading Campaign to Cure Canine Cancer - One in Four Dogs Dies of Cancer - Leading Cause of Death in Dogs over 2

DENVER, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Cancer has claimed a hero police dog, and Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) is now honoring "Rocky," a canine member of the Lakewood Police Department in Colorado. MAF first honored Rocky six years ago when his bravery resulted in being shot, but in still catching a criminal.


As reported in the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post, six years ago on Aug. 4, Rocky was working with Lakewood Police Agent Darren Maurer in pursuit of a criminal. The criminal shot Rocky at near point blank range. Although wounded, Rocky continued chasing the suspect for another 70 yards, at which point the dog took down the criminal who was then arrested. Rocky was honored by the mayor of Lakewood with a medallion for his "bravery and fidelity." MAF followed up with an honor as well, sending Maurer a Christmas ornament for Rocky -- an ornament that hangs on the Maurer Christmas tree each year.

Sadly on the anniversary of that heroism, Aug. 4, 2008, Maurer, who worked with Rocky during the dog's six years on the force, held Rocky in his arms as the Dutch shepherd was euthanized, losing his battle against prostrate cancer. As quoted in the Rocky Mountain News Maurer said, "There's a huge hole in my heart ... he was lifting his head and breathing and it was one barrier in his life he couldn't fight through."

Maurer told MAF, "He was more than a dog. He and I shared the human-animal bond; we had a bond that's impossible to describe. Every year we have hung the Christmas ornament MAF sent us. The ornament will always hang on our tree. I'll always have that bond with Rocky."

MAF is honoring Rocky again with a plaque featuring Rocky's photo and with a story about Rocky on MAF's Web site MAF also has a dedicated cancer Web site, and the MAF Canine Cancer Campaign video even recognizes the bravery and spirit of police dogs like Rocky.

MAF invites dog lovers to make a contribution to our canine cancer campaign in the name of Rocky, a hero, a beloved companion and brave K-9 dog who will be forever missed.

MAF, has underway an unprecedented global effort to fund research to cure canine cancer, while also funding research to more effectively treat dogs with the disease today. MAF is working with elite scientific institutions around the world to save dogs from cancer. In addition, MAF has already funded over 100 canine cancer research studies.

About Morris Animal Foundation:

Morris Animal Foundation, established in 1948, is dedicated to funding animal health research that protects, treats and cures companion animals and wildlife. MAF has been at the forefront of funding breakthrough research studies benefiting animals in some 100 countries, spanning all seven continents. MAF has its headquarters in Denver. The Foundation has funded more than 1,500 humane animal health studies. Charity Navigator ranks MAF as a four-star charity, the highest rating. For more information, call 800.243.2345, or visit

Media Contact:

Michael Burke, 800.243.2345

SOURCE Morris Animal Foundation
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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