CANTON, OH (WOIO) - It's finally here: The first day on the job for Canton police's newest K9, Tuko.
Tuko is a 14-month old German shepherd from Hungary. He's still playful like a puppy and only takes commands in German right now.
Officer Ryan Davis spent last week in Houston, training with three K9s, before selecting Tuko to be his new partner.
And he's got big paws to fill as Officer Ryan Davis' new partner on the Canton Police Department.
"Excited to get training but never expected to have to go through it again," said Officer Davis.
There were three top picks to chose from at the K9s4Cops non-profit organization. The group gifted the fully trained German shepherd. The dog would normally cost between $15,000 and $20,000.
Officer Davis told Cleveland 19 in Houston that he and Tuko clicked.
"For me, the bond was there," said Officer Davis.
Tuko won't replace Jethro but he'll train to be a K9. He's got a rigorous schedule.
"Monday through Friday, 8-3 for, until about the end of April. About 12 weeks, maybe a little longer, depends on the dog and the handler and how it goes," said Eric Stanbro, describing Tuko's training schedule. He's the head K9 Trainer, Canton Police Department.
Tuko will learn how to track criminals and specialize in narcotics detection. His handlers say it seems the entire world is rooting for the duo.
"I think the whole story and the pictures and how sad everybody was and the effect that it has on the handler, on Ryan. A lot of people don't get to see that, they don't get to see how the dogs and the handlers are, together as one and I think it really got them," said Stanbro.
If all goes well with Tuko's training, he will graduate at the end of April with his K9 certificate.
After Tuko graduates, he'll work the midnight shift with Officer Davis, just like his fallen partner, K9 Jethro.
BLOG: The Journey That Brought Officer Ryan Davis and Tuko Together
Davis' lost his former K9 partner, Jethro last month during an armed robbery.
The two were responding to a burglar alarm at Fishers Foods at 1272 Harrison Ave. SW. Jethro was shot during a confrontation with the suspected burglar, who also was shot in the leg.
The city held a funeral for Jethro at the Canton Civic Center, on what would have been Jethro's 3rd birthday. K9 officers from across the country showed up with their dogs to support the Canton Police department.
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