K9 dogs are a crucial component of any police force. They are able to do things that humans cannot, such as find missing people or suspects, using their extraordinary senses.
Although it’s a job that puts their own lives and safety in danger, just like their human counterparts, K9s occasionally suffer fatal injuries.
Like the unfortunate dog who was just stabbed while performing his duties but is now expected to recover.
Eli is a K9 officer with the Michigan’s Grand Rapids Police Department. According to WWMT, Eli was involved in a police standoff with Terry Junior Warren, 24, who was a suspect in an assault, last month.
Eli was sent in after tear gas failed to knock the suspect down who was barricaded, but he tragically sustained eight stab wounds that punctured his lungs.
Eli “underwent major surgery and received a blood transfusion,” according to a Facebook post.
Eli is recovering from surgery, so police asked the public to keep him in their thoughts and prayers.
Thankfully, the police department recently updated to say that Eli is still fully recovering at home with his handler.
The department reported that Officer Kribs “officer Kribs reports that he is very much back to his regular demeanor.” They added that Eli needed more staples to close up his wounds and that he was ready to stop wearing the surgical cone.
It is unclear when or if the K9 will return to service while Eli is making a recovery. In order to assess Eli’s development and readiness for duty. “We are hopeful Eli will be able to start back with light training in the next few weeks so we can evaluate his progress and fitness for duty,” the department wrote.
Although sending a K9 dog after a dangerous suspect can seem cruel given the potential harm they could sustain, this is what the dogs have been trained to do, and their deployment is done in an effort to save lives.
“It’s a difficult decision to send in a K9 knowing that harm may come to the dog, but when you have an armed suspect that is showing no signs of surrender, it can rapidly escalate into a use of deadly force,” Chief Eric Winstrom said. “Choosing to use a police K9 is a less lethal way to gain control and bring a stand-off to a peaceful end.”
A number of felonies, including two counts of felonious assault and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, have been brought against the suspect in the interim.