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Ceres Police canine recovering from surgery for on-the-job injury
Officer Joe Wren and his police canine Zeus. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Zeus, a Ceres police canine who was seriously injured while attempting to catch a suspect on Dec. 22, has successfully undergone surgery and is expected to return to work.

The canine underwent surgery Thursday.

Zeus did not respond to treatment for about two weeks, so he was referred to a specialist in Stockton. There, it was determined that he had suffered a dislocation, which could be treated surgically by a partial fusing of his ankle.

Just before 2 a.m. on Dec. 22, Ceres Police officers responded to an alarm call at CVS Pharmcy on Hatch Road. As they arrived, they saw a moving van pulling an ATM through the front of the store. As the officers pursued the vehicle, 50-gallon drums of gasoline, hand trucks, and trash were thrown from the back of the moving van at police vehicles. The moving van continued through a resident's driveway and a wrought-iron fence, and officers gave chase to the driver who ran from the vehicle. The suspect went over a wall and so did Zeus.

However, as he scaled the five-foot-tall cinderblock wall -- something he has done many times before -- one of his back paws got caught in a decorative hole, immobilizing him. His handler, Officer Joe Wren freed the dog and provided limited first aid to Zeus in his vehicle until additional officers responded so he could be rushed to emergency veterinarian care.

Zeus was the 2013 recipient of the American Red Cross Hero Award, has been an active participant in the arrest of over 100 suspects, is responsible for the removal of a large amount of narcotics from Ceres streets, and has been called upon to do many public demonstrations at schools throughout the county and at Ceres Police Department's National Night Out 2013 event.