The halftime entertainment at Sunday’s San Francisco 49ers game ended on a paw-sitive note for one Woodland Police Department officer.
Officer Juan Berrera wandered blindfolded across midfield at Levi’s Stadium, the crowd directing him through cheers and boos. When he finally stumbled into an oversized package at the 42-yard line, he removed his blindfold to find a German Shepherd puppy – later named Montana, after the iconic 49ers quarterback – wearing a red-and-gold jersey.
Berrera’s K-9 partner Peydro was hit by a car while pursuing a wanted parole violator fleeing a crime scene in May 2016, fracturing his face and spine and injuring his lungs. He regained the ability to walk after extensive surgery and rehabilitation, and was awarded the American Kennel Club’s Paw of Courage in March 2017.
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Peydro retired from the department and returned to a life at home with Barrera and his K-9 “brother,” Niko. He suddenly collapsed while playing in the backyard on Nov. 8 and was unable to be revived.