SACRAMENTO, Calif — Warning: An image in this story shows the injuries suffered by the police dog.
A highly decorated U.S. Forest Service police dog suffered nine stab wounds during a marijuana raid in Northern California. But he survived after he was airlifted to a veterinary clinic, the agency said Friday.
What's more, it's the second time the dog, an 11-year-old Belgian Malinois named Ice, recovered after being seriously injured on the job.
Ice was wounded Aug. 27 in the Klamath National Forest south of the Oregon border when he was released to catch a suspect who had fled down a steep hill to escape the raid that unearthed more than 5,500 marijuana plants. He kept hold of the suspect even after he was stabbed, while his handler, Patrol Capt. Christopher Magallon, made the arrest.
Magallon then gave his dog first aid while calling in a helicopter, which flew Ice more than 70 miles to the Veterinary Specialty Center in Medford, Oregon. The dog, which had been wearing a protective vest, was released later that afternoon, and federal prosecutors are still considering charges.
“Thankfully, despite the attack, no major areas were struck, and Ice will quickly recover and return to service until his expected retirement at the end of this month," Cody Wheeler, the Forest Services’ North Zone patrol commander, said in a statement.
Ice had multiple stab wounds that were more severe during a similar raid in 2016, the agency said.
He received the 2016 Law Enforcement and Investigations Director’s Award for Valor and Heroism after surviving the earlier assault. He was also honored then as a “Top Dog” award winner in the international category by American Humane Hero Dogs, appearing in a nationally televised award ceremony in 2017.