Cocoa Police K9 Bear, ‘America’s Top Dog’ Fully Recovers From Melanoma Eye Surgery, Prepares Return to Duty
By Space Coast Daily // November 19, 2021
BEAR BECAME A COCOA POLICE K9 IN 2014
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA, FLORIDA – Cocoa Police Department’s K-9 Bear, also known as “America’s Top Dog” after winning Season 1, Episode 2 of the show in 2020, has made a full recovery from eye surgery.
This past summer, Bear was diagnosed with Limbal Melanoma Resection in his right eye and underwent surgery in Orlando in October.
“The vet has given him an all-clear with no cancer, he is ready to get back to work and catch more bad guys!” said Cocoa police officials.
Bear joined the Cocoa Police Department in 2014 and was assigned to Officer Dan Rhoades. This K9 star is trained to track fleeing suspects, locate missing persons, find illegal drugs and evidence in criminal cases.
As a member of the SWAT team, his most recent find was in August when he recovered nearly one pound of marijuana during a traffic stop.
In 2020, Bear appeared on A&E Network’s America’s Top Dog where he competed against some of the most elite and highly trained police K-9 teams in the country. Bear, with Officer Rhoades, won their episode and has since become a local celebrity.
Team Bear was one of the featured teams to run the obstacle course at the Space Coast Police K9 Competition held in October at Space Coast Stadium. Officer Rhoades and K-9 Bear also demonstrated a muzzle takedown during the halftime event.
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