Deputy Greg Thomason of the Harris County Precinct 4 Constables Office acquired Ricco, his canine partner in 2004. For the next 7 years they worked side by side. Ricco was responsible for 300 criminal apprehensions, locating many lost children and adults and taking thousands of pounds of drugs off the streets, saving over $2 million in cash assets seized from drug trafficking and saving Thomason’s life several times.
Ricco would fearlessly go where no man would. He never complained, and usually returned with a suspect regardless of the obstacles: buildings, wooded areas, swamps, or creeks.
In 2010 Ricco retired and was given his credentials as a Precinct 4 Deputy. He went on to live with Greg and his family. He became very different after his retirement, instead of wanting to bite or remove the hide off a fleeing suspect he would rather lick someone to death. He was always happy to see Thomason but a little disappointed that he wasn’t able to work with him for the day.
Thomason said he spent more time with Ricco then he did his own family. In 2008 Thomason came up with a motto for Ricco, “I would sacrifice mine to save yours.”
Harris County Precinct 4 Assistant Chief Woody Mitchell said Ricco was a very dynamic and good dog. He said the dog and handler worked together as a team and when Ricco retired it didn’t stop there.
The family grew very attached to Ricco and were devastated when a trip to the vet recently revealed a lump on his leg was actually cancer. Cancer was also found in his lymph glands and throughout his body. The only option was to amputate the leg which would maybe give him a few more months in pain before the cancer took over.
A decision was made to let Ricco die with dignity and among friends. Thomason said he wasn’t going to put his partner through that with his stature and wanted Ricco to go out knowing he was still on top.
Mitchell said, “our community today is a safer community now because of Ricco and the hard work and dedication that Ricco had with Greg, his handler.”
Tuesday afternoon Deputies with Harris County Precinct 4 Constables Office, Humble Police, Montgomery County Precinct 3 Constables Office, Montgomery County Precinct 2 Constables Office and Cypress Creek EMS along with their Honor Guard and many other friends and family gathered at Thomason’s home in Montgomery.
Just after 3:30 p.m. a vet from Spring Hill Animal Hospital along with her technicians arrived at the Thomason home. Many gathered inside and said good-bye to Ricco one last time.
Ricco’s flag draped body was then removed from the house by Cypress Creek EMS Honor Guard and loaded into Thomason’s vehicle in which Ricco had accompanied his partner for years.
With a full escort of police vehicles and motorcycles escorted Deputy Ricco to a Pet Care facility in Grimes County near Anderson where he will be cremated.