Sgt Gannon's Canine Nero in Recovery

May 4, 2018

Nero and his current handler Peter McClelland at the Yarmouth Police Department on May 4, 2018.
Credit Sarah Tan / WCAI

Sergeant Sean Gannon's police dog Nero is recovering from his injuries and is on the mend. Gannon was fatally shot and his Belgian Malinois injured in the neck and shoulder while delivering a warrant last month. Nero has undergone surgery to repair a torn esophagus, and a bullet still remains lodged under his shoulder. Despite this, he visited the Yarmouth Police Department and appeared energetic and alert. 

Officer Sean Roycroft of Barnstable said Nero and sergeant Gannon had a special relationship.  

"They had a great bond, they had a great bond together. They could read off each other, Nero could read off of Sean and it wasn’t even, it’s not what he said, it’s how he said it," he said. "And they just got used to each other, certain movements and things like that Nero would respond to that."

Nero is currently staying with dog handler and retired Yarmouth police officer Peter McClellan. He will be in recovery and rehabilitated for the next three months, and afterwards he may return to Gannon's family. 

McClelland trained Nero as a puppy and chose Gannon specifically to be Nero's handler because their personalities seemed like a good match. He said seeing both Gannon and his dog hurt was difficult.  

"It was very tough, especially when I saw the condition when he came out of the house, it was frightening," McClelland said. "But I didn’t really have fear even that first night, I just had something I knew he was going to pull through. I just didn’t feel like we were going to lose him and fortunately that’s the way it turned out."

He added that Nero is still on edge after losing his owner, and strangers were advised to give him space. Nero is expected to fully recover, though he will not re-enter police work. Instead, over the next three months, he will be reacclimated to life in retirement.