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Former Columbia Police Officer Reacts to Return of Dog

Posted: Feb 12, 2013 3:35 PM by Nick Chabarria
Updated: Feb 12, 2013 6:19 PM

Rating: 5.0 (1 vote)

COLUMBIA - The former police dog named "Fano" is living with his former handler Tuesday after a purchase deal from the Clarence Police Department and the helping hand of another officers.

Former Columbia Police officer Rob Sanders and his wife Amy received the dog from Terry Toalson, a friend and Ashland Police officer, who purchased the dog from the Clarence Police Monday.

"Fano's back. He's back at home and I could not be more overjoyed." said Sanders. "It is quite frankly a miracle for our family to have him back."

The Columbia Police Department kept Fano after Chief Ken Burton fired Sanders over assault charges in 2011. The department refused to sell Sanders supporters the dog then, citing liability issues for selling a trained police dog to civilians. Those supporters promised to raise $10,000 to buy the dog. Eventually, the department sold the dog last month to the Clarence police chief for one dollar.

Sanders said Fano has a good memory of his property. Between training and working together, Sanders handled Fano for a year and a half before losing his job.

Sanders, who now trains dogs professionally, said he plans to use Fano as a demo dog and possibly get back into the police force as a K-9 officer.

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