MANTUA, Ohio -- One community is getting ready for heartbreaking goodbye. Beloved K-9 Diablo, 8, has made a career of protecting children. Now, he's in the fight of his life.
Diablo was recently diagnosed with an inoperable cancerous tumor near his spine. His handler and school resource officer, Sgt. Joe Urso, says Diablo is the only K-9 in Ohio assigned to a resource officer full-time.
"When I come into the building, it's not, 'Hi, Officer Urso,' it's, 'Where is Diablo,?'" said Sgt. Urso.
While Diablo's days are winding down, he is not ready to slow down just yet. A Fox 8 camera caught him in action at Crestwood Middle School. One of several buildings where he often performs random drug checks.
"The last two weeks have been pretty emotional," said Sgt. Urso, fighting back tears at the thought of losing his partner. "I thought I would retire him because of old age; we never thought this was gonna happen."
Sergeant Urso says updates on Diablo's health will be posted to the Mantua Police Department's Facebook page. They plan to let Diablo continue working until he starts having more bad days than good.