SCOTTSVILLE, Ky. (WBKO) -- If you're lucky, when you walk into the Allen County Sheriff's Office you might get to meet a special deputy, Narco, who didn't get his name by chance.
"Without him, we wouldn't be able to get half the drugs we get off the streets," says Sgt. Nicholas Tabbert.
Since 2011, Narco has served as a K-9 drug unit for Sgt. Tabbert and all of Allen County, but a year ago his story took a very unexpected turn when a troublesome spot was removed from Narco's paw and sent off to a lab.
"It came back as melanoma which is a skin cancer, but it's not the same type of skin cancer us humans get," explains Tabbert.
Narco's cancer isn't caused by the sun, but his treatment was much the same as a human's might be with that same diagnosis. They removed one of his toes to keep the cancer from spreading, and he's been through vairous forms of chemotherapy ever since. Sgt. Tabbert says some of that treatment required him to be put under anesthesia.
"When you see your partner like that -- go to sleep -- you don't like it."
Even under that kind of stress and illness, Narco has missed very few days of work. When we asked Sgt. Tabbert how many people he knew who would have that kind of determination, his answer was simple:
"I don't know of any."
Narco's certification as a K-9 drug unit runs out this December. As he continues to battle cancer, Sgt. Tabbert tells us they've decided December will also mean Narco's retirement.
"We want to give him to time to be a dog."
Veterinarians say his chance of survival with continued treatment is great; but it comes at a price. Despite financial support from the community, Pharmacy Arts and a lot of outpouring from Scottsville Animal Hospital, Tabbert says they still need to raise about $3,000 to help cover the cost of his treatment. To find out about upcoming fundraisers or to make a donation to help save Narco, follow the links attached to this story.
"It's kind of hard to realize that he's going through all this, but when it doesn't slow him down and he acts perfectly fine, it helps the situation and it helps everybody out," says Tabbert.
For neving giving up the fight, and serving Allen County to the best of his ability, we honor Narco the K-9 as our Hughes and Coleman Hometown Hero.