K9 dogs are an invaluable part of any police department. They can use their incredible senses to do things humans can’t, like finding missing people or suspects.
But it’s work that puts their own lives and safety at risk, and occasionally K9 dogs sustain life-threatening injuries.
This is the case of a poor dog who was recently stabbed in the line of duty, but is expected to recover. Eli is a police dog from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Last month, Eli was involved in a confrontation between police and 24-year-old Terry Junior Warren, who was suspected of an assault, according to WWMT.
After tear gas failed to subdue the barricaded suspect, Eli was sent to the scene, only to suffer eight stab wounds that punctured his lungs.
According to a Facebook post, Eli “underwent major surgery and received a blood transfusion.”
Officers have asked the public to keep Eli in their thoughts and prayers as he recovers from surgery. Fortunately, in a recent update, the police department confirmed that Eli continues to make a full recovery at home with his master.
Although Eli is on the mend, it is not yet known when or if the dog will return to service. “We hope Eli can return to light training in the coming weeks so that we can assess his progress and fitness for duty,” the department wrote.
It may seem inhumane to send a K9 dog in pursuit of a dangerous suspect knowing the injuries they could sustain, but that is what these dogs are trained for and deployed for in order to rescue lives.
“It’s a tough decision to send in a police dog knowing he could be hurt, but when you have an armed suspect who shows no sign of surrender, the situation can quickly escalate into a use of deadly force” , said chef Eric Winstrom. “Choosing to use a police dog is a way to take control and end a standoff peacefully.”
In the meantime, the suspect has been charged with multiple misdemeanors, including two counts of cat assault and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.