They're the unsung heros of many police departments. When one goes down, the loss can be just as painful as losing a police officer.
The 95-pound German Shepher named Maximus is rarely more than a few inches away from his partner, Officer John Neal. The two were on a routine trek early Sunday morning, that nearly took the dog's life, and may have ended his career.
Officer Neal believes it was a false alarm that sent the two searching through a Cincinnati business. Maximus fell at least 15 feet through a floor onto concrete, shattering his front right leg. The dog underwent surgery Monday. Recovery will take at least twelve weeks - and even then, Maximus may not be able to return to work.
Neal tells FOX19, "His job is to make sure that one of us aren't hurt or killed. His job every day that he walks out of this house is to put his life on the line for all of us." The dog is far more than Officer Neal's furry companion - the pair spend every waking moment together. They protect each other.
Maximus endured four hours of surgery on his leg - but two days later, he's in good spirits and ready to move around. His biggest challenge for the next twelve weeks will be to stay still.