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Sharon police dog Yelle sits in handler Jeffrey Brown’s Sharon backyard last summer. Yelle is returning to duty after six months off for a spinal injury.

Sharon police K-9 officer Yelle is back on limited duty after a spinal injury put the dog out of commission for six months.

“He’s not 100 percent,” Police Chief Mike Menster said, adding that Yelle won’t be back to full service.

An 8-year-old German shepherd who lives with handler patrolman Jeffrey Brown and his family, Yelle was not hurt on the job.

Yelle was diagnosed with two ruptured vertebrae, which put pressure on his spinal cord and impaired the dog’s neurological function.

He received extensive medical treatment from Baker Animal Hospital in Clark, Metropolitan Animal Hospital in Akron and PetsDX in Pittsburgh.

Doctors thought Yelle would need surgery, which could have cost more $5,000.

In May, Yelle’s doctors decided to postpone the surgery, as he was beginning to recover neurological function, and continue alternative treatment, Menster said.

Last month it was decided Yelle was ready for light duties.

Yelle’s doctors said going through with the surgery would involve more risk than what the animal would gain, Menster said.

More than $3,800 was donated for Yelle’s care by individuals, businesses, schoolchildren and civic organizations in the Sharon area, Menster said.

Those donations are greatly appreciated by Yelle, Brown and the entire police department, Menster said. Most of the money was used to cover the top-notch medical care Yelle received.

The rest will go toward continuing treatment and monitoring of Yelle’s condition, Menster said.

Any donors who want their money refunded because the surgery was not performed may contact Menster.

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