The Ben Roethlisbeger Foundation will purchase a new police dog for Pittsburgh Police according to a news release issued tonight. The purchase wasn’t planned, but Roethlisberger felt compelled after Rocco, a German shepherd in the K-9 unit, died last month after he was stabbed by a suspect.
“This last week, a K-9 officer named Rocco was killed in my current hometown of Pittsburgh. After talking with officer Phil Lerza and getting his blessing, the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation would like to announce that we are going to get Officer Lerza a new dog. Rocco can never be replaced, but we only hope to help with the healing process and to provide Officer Lerza with another loyal partner,” Ben said in the release.
Thousands mourned the loss of the K-9 officer, and the city mayor ordered the flags to be at half mast the day after his death.
The Ben Roethlisbeger Foundation began in 2006. It’s main purpose is to provide police and service dogs to police and fire departments across the US.