UPDATE: The Dade County K9 who jumped out of a patrol car in December has finished his physical therapy.

K9 Rocco fractured his leg and had to have surgery. Now, according to the Dade County Sheriff's Office, he has been cleared for narcotics detection.

"He has not been released for apprehension (bite work) or tracking just yet, but hopefully, that will be after his next appointment," a sheriff's office spokesperson said.

We will keep you updated on K9 Rocco as he continues to recover.


UPDATE: Dade County K9 Rocco is on the road to recovery.

Rocco was fractured his leg in December after he jumped out of a patrol car.

Chad Payne with the Dade County Sheriff's Office said Rocco had surgery on January 12.

"Everything went great," Payne said.

Rocco is expected to be back on duty in a little over two months.


PREVIOUS STORY: K9 Rocco received some good news Monday. 

The Dade County Sheriff's Office said Rocco went back to UT Knoxville on New Year's Eve, and the vet said his wounds are healing nicely. 

The vet did decide to hold off on Rocco's surgery, however, until next week.

"Continue to keep Sgt York and K9 Rocco in your thoughts, and thank you so much for the continued support," a sheriff's office spokesperson said. 

Stay with Channel 3 for the latest on K9 Rocco's condition.


PREVIOUS STORY: The Dade County Sheriff's Office gave an update on K9 Rocco Sunday.

Rocco jumped out of a patrol car when a door on the car malfunctioned Wednesday. He was found injured Thursday.

He was taken to UT Knoxville to receive medical care due to an injury to a bone in his leg, torn ligaments and abrasions.

The sheriff's office said Rocco has spent the weekend at home but will go back to Knoxville Monday to hear the final determination about surgery and an implant. Deputies say the implant will hopefully help with his recovery and getting him back to work.

"His handler says that Rocco is in high spirits, and is ready to get back to work!!" the sheriff's office added.

They ask that you continue to keep Rocco in your thoughts and prayers.


PREVIOUS STORY: A Dade County K9 unit named Rocco, who was missing for more than 12 hours, was found on Thursday.

It was a restless night for members of the Dade County Sheriff’s Office that continued into Thursday morning as they searched for Rocco.

Sheriff Ray Cross says around 8:00 pm Wednesday deputies started searching the wooded area near the I-24/ I-59 junction.

He says the team was unsure which direction the dog would go.

“The dog is chipped, but it's for medical records. It's not for tracking,” says Sheriff Ray Cross.

Rocco’s handler was responding to a call and traveling along I-24 when the K9 jumped out. The car was going about 50 miles per hour at the time.

Sheriff Cross says Rocco is injured but is expected to be okay.

“He has a door popper on his door for his canine, and it malfunctioned. The dog jumped out onto the interstate,” said Cross.

Dade County officials asked citizens to be on the lookout for Rocco but warned them not to approach him.

Dade County officials received backup from the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Georgia State Patrol.

“Don't go into the woods, because this dog is an attack dog,” Sheriff Cross warned. "He could bite you, especially when he's injured, and we don't want that to happen.”

Rocco was finally found on Slygo Road in Trenton. He suffered a fractured leg in his escape

At this time it’s not clear when or if Rocco will return to duty.

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.


PREVIOUS STORY: The search for a missing K9 police dog ended Thursday, after a long search. Rocco was last seen in the area of the I-59/I-24 junction. He was wearing his chain collar but not his harness.

The sheriff’s office says K9 Rocco jumped out of a patrol car Wednesday while going to a wreck on the interstate because a door on the car malfunctioned.

Rocco was last seen in the area of the I-59/I-24 junction. He is wearing his chain collar but not his harness.

The sheriff’s office advises anyone who sees Rocco to use caution and do not approach him because he could be injured.

If you have any information, please call the Dade County 911 at (706) 657-4111.


Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.