K9 dogs are an invaluable part of any police department. They can use their incredible senses to do things humans can’t, like tracking down missing people or suspects.
But like their human counterparts, it’s a job that puts their own lives and safety at risk, and sometimes K9s sustain life-threatening injuries.
Like one poor dog who was recently stabbed in the line of duty, but is now expected to make a recovery.
Eli is a K9 for the Grand Rapids Police Department in Michigan. Last month, Eli was involved in a police standoff with 24-year-old Terry Junior Warren, a suspect in an assault, according to WWMT.
After tear gas was unsuccessful at subduing the barricaded suspect, Eli was sent in, but sadly suffered eight stab wounds which punctured his lungs.
According to a Facebook post, Eli “underwent major surgery and received a blood transfusion.”
Officers asked the public to keep Eli in their thoughts and prayers as he recovered from the surgery.
Thankfully, in a recent update, the police department confirmed that Eli is continuing to make a full recovery at home with his handler
“Officer Kribs reports that he is very much back to his regular demeanor,” the department wrote. They added that Eli had to receive additional staples to his wounds, and that he’s ready to be done with the surgical cone he has had to wear.
While Eli is making a recovery, is not clear when or if the K9 will return to service. “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.
It can seem inhumane to send a K9 dog after a dangerous suspect knowing the injuries they might suffer, but it’s what these dogs are trained for 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.”
Meanwhile the suspect has been charged with a number of felonies, including two counts of felonious assault and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Eli as he continues his recovery! Please share this story and wish this K9 the best! ❤️💙