Cocoa Police K9 Bear, “America’s Best Dog,” Recovers From Limbic Melanoma Eye Surgery

Bear joined the Cocoa Police Department in 2014

Cocoa Police Department K-9 Bear, also known as America’s Top Dog after winning the show’s Season 1 Episode 2 in 2020, is recovering from surgery performed earlier in the day. (CPD image)

BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA, FLORIDA – The Cocoa Police Department’s K-9 bear, also known as America’s Top Dog after winning episode 2 of the show’s season 1 in 2020 , is recovering from surgery performed earlier today.

Last summer, Bear was diagnosed with resection of limbic melanoma in his right eye. He underwent surgery in Orlando early Wednesday.

Vets at the Veterinary Ophthalmology Center said the operation went well and was recovering at home with strict rest orders.

Bear joined the Cocoa Police Department in 2014 and was assigned to Officer Dan Rhoades. Bear is trained to follow fleeing suspects, locate missing persons, find illegal drugs and evidence in criminal cases.

Bear joined the Cocoa Police Department in 2014 and was assigned to Officer Dan Rhoades. Bear is trained to follow fleeing suspects, locate missing persons, find illegal drugs and evidence in criminal cases. (CPD image)

As a member of the SWAT team, his most recent discovery was in August when he recovered almost a pound of marijuana during a traffic stop.

In 2020, Bear appeared on A&E Network’s America’s Top Dog, where he faced off against some of the most elite and best-trained K-9 police teams in the country.

Bear, along with Officer Rhoades, won their episode and has since become a local celebrity.

Team Bear was one of the featured teams organizing the obstacle course during the Space Coast Police K9 competition held on October 17 at USSSA Space Coast Stadium. Officer Rhoades and K-9 Bear also demonstrated a muzzle removal during the halftime event.

Vets at the Veterinary Ophthalmology Center said the operation went well and was recovering at home with strict rest orders. K9 Bear is an 8 year old German Shepherd. (CPD image)

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