Over a Thousand People Gather in Pittsburgh to Honor Fallen K9 Rocco

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On Friday morning an estimated 1,200 people gathered to honor and mourn the passing of Pittsburgh police dog Rocco, who died last week after being stabbed during an arrest.

Rocco’s passing has touched many people, not only in the Pittsburgh community, but around the country. The brave police dog died last week, days after he was stabbed while trying to apprehend a fugitive. His partner and two other police officers were injured, and Rocco’s actions very well prevented the deaths of those three officers.

Initially Rocco’s partner, Officer Phil Lerza, requested a closed funeral. The outpouring of support that came in from the public changed his mind, however, and the funeral was opened to the public.

Rocco received full police honors. Led by a bagpiper, a procession of uniformed police officers wearing white gloves carried a large photo followed by Rocco’s urn and a flag. Officer Lerza, accompanied by his wife and two daughters, walked right behind him.

Many in attendance had never met Rocco or Officer Lerza, but they wanted to pay their respects to a hero.

“Rocco was certainly brave,” said attendee Gerry Hoel. “He was definitely not just a dog.”




7 thoughts on “Over a Thousand People Gather in Pittsburgh to Honor Fallen K9 Rocco”

  1. Congrats to The Pittsbugh Police Service
    for doing the right thing – showing
    Rocco the respect he earned and

    The US military could learn about
    respect, loyalty, etc. from this
    proper and dignified send off by
    The Pittsburgh Police Service for
    ONE OF THEIR OWN who paid the
    ultimate price in the line of duty.


  2. RIP Rocco, a fitting tribute to another species that was prepared to sacrifice his life in the course of his duty. Why ditch dogs? Is it because of money? The usual reason these days, some things are more important, like loyal unflinching service, like the unstinting loyalty, the efficient execution of duty (directed by humans). Rocco and those who come after him deserve to have that spirit and devotion recognised and not to be unceremoniously dumped like so much rubbish. Thank you Rocco, for everything.

  3. As a K-9 handler who recently lost his long-time bomb dog at 13 years, I like to use these words of comfort:

    In the darkness I turned to go; my last day’s done, I’ll miss you so. No time to even say goodbye or to lick the tears spilling from your eyes. That’s when I heard you call my name; I knew right then I must turn back to help ease your pain. Since I’ve no voice with which to speak, it’s whispers in your dreams I’ll make. Ease your heart and rest your mind. My time with you was the best of kind. I couldn’t have asked for a better friend; we’ve shared our journey to the very end.
    There’s one final thing you need to know. I’ll whisper in your ear before I go: “I’m leaving first to find the way….so I can lead you back here with me on your last day.” So Long

  4. why is it that police dogs are honored which they should be, but it is practically encouraged to shoot every other dog the police see. every dog should be honored and the police that kill dogs should be fired


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