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Nero, police K-9 shot during murder of Yarmouth Police Sgt. Sean Gannon, released from hospital

K9 Nero was released from the hospital Wednesday and taken home in Sergeant Sean Gannon’s cruiser, police said.
K9 Nero was released from the hospital Wednesday and taken home in Sergeant Sean Gannon’s cruiser, police said. Yarmouth Police Department via Facebook

The wounded police dog of slain Yarmouth Police Sergeant Sean M. Gannon was released from the hospital Wednesday and the K-9 will eventually live with Gannon’s family, Yarmouth police said.

Nero, a 2 1/2-year-old Belgian Malinois, was shot in the face and neck last week while Gannon attempted to carry out an arrest warrant for Thomas M. Latanowich in Barnstable. Latanowich is charged with killing Gannon and wounding the dog and has pleaded not guilty.

Funeral services for Gannon, 32, were held Wednesday.

“At the end of one of the most emotional and saddest days, and six-day period in American and Yarmouth Police Department history, our beloved four-legged partner K9 Nero was released from his hospital and was taken home... in his fallen partner Sergeant Sean M. Gannon’s cruiser,” Yarmouth police wrote on Facebook.

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The bullet that hit the dog entered under his jaw and passed through his trachea and esophagus before lodging in his back near his shoulder blade, police said. The dog underwent surgery Friday to repair his trachea and esophagus and had been recovering at Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists in Buzzards Bay.

Peter McClelland, a retired Yarmouth police officer who trained Nero as a puppy and has remained at his side since the shooting, said Nero may make a full recovery and could eventually return to work, although Gannon’s widow, Dara, may choose to have Nero retire.

The dog will stay at McClelland’s home until its rehabilitation is complete “until he fully heals and then will return to the Gannon family when everyone is ready,’’ police wrote on Facebook.


Emily Sweeney of the Globe Staff contributed to this report. Jacob Carozza can be reached at jacob.carozza@globe.com.