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Sheriff's Dog was Nearly Choked to Death but Still Helped Save the Day

After a standoff in Ludlow that nearly cost him his life, Santo, a K9 deputy with the Kenton County Sheriff's Department was honored again on Tuesday.

Ludlow Police Chief Steve Jarvis, who already handed out awards for bravery to Santo, Deputy Miguel Rodriguez, and Sergeant Bart Beck at a Ludlow City Council meeting, recounted the harrowing tale again for the Kenton County Fiscal Court.

A man, barricaded inside his mobile home, fired shots at officers outside. Once tear gas was deployed and the man still didn't surrender, Santo was dispatched to locate the suspect. But then the dog's leash went limp and Santo could not be heard.

That's when Rodriguez and Beck rushed into the trailer and found the suspect choking the dog unconscious.

When the officers got hold of the man he dropped Santo who regained conscious and bit him, subduing him long enough for the arrest to be made.

During the struggle, Santo's canine vest was punctured, but he was ultimately uninjured.

On Tuesday, Sheriff Chuck Korzenborn presented awards to Rodriguez, Beck, and Santo.

He also offered his thanks to Randy and Roxanne Marsh who provided the funds to replace Santo's vest. Randy Marsh is well known as a former Major League Baseball umpire, and a member of the 1963 Holmes High School state championship baseball team, as noted by former coach and current County Commissioner Jon Draud.

Santo first made news as a 19-month old K9-in-training, who, while in Florida learning how to track grow houses, actually stumbled upon a real one

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-Story & photos by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News