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Louisa’s K-9 Officer Rizzo diagnosed with cancer

Posted on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 5:15 pm

Lt. Patrick Sheridan, Louisa County Sheriff’s Office, is K-9 Officer Rizzo’s trainer and handler. File photo

The Louisa County Sheriff’s Office received tragic news this past August. Their beloved six-year-old female Bloodhound, Rizzo, was diagnosed with Stage-II Lymphosarcoma, a terminal cancer.

The news came after her handler and trainer, LCSO’s Lt. Patrick Sheridan, found swelling in Rizzo’s lymph nodes. Like most dogs with the disease, she was asymptomatic before her diagnosis, and continues to work through her treatments.

The American Kennel Club-certified black and tan bloodhound, was trained by and has worked for the LCSO Bloodhound unit since her arrival.

Rizzo and Sheridan travel the country and the globe to train both civilian and military K-9 units to locate missing and endangered persons, as well as locate drugs, weapons and bombs. The pair have been featured by local and state media, including The Central Virginian in 2013.

Since Rizzo was obtained by the sheriff’s office through public donations, she has worked for the same handler assisting in more than 300 calls, and has worked countless hours with the Virginia Bloodhound Association and the Virginia Police Workdog Association.

Dr. Richard Freedman of the Albemarle Veterinary Healthcare Center prescribed 19 weeks of chemotherapy treatments in hopes that Rizzo’s tumors will begin to go into remission. Chemotherapy is a group of drugs used, both orally and intravenously, to kill cancer cells.

To read the entire story, see the Oct. 12 edition of The Central Virginian.