A Hanceville, Ala., Police officer was seriously injured when his K-9 partner attacked him after a training exercise Monday. Chief Bob Long said the officer and K-9, a Malinois named Itchabon, had worked together for about a year, according to WSFA.
Long said the incident occurred while the officer and the dog, a 6-year-old Malinois, were training at a park, which was something they did almost daily. They were finishing up a training exercise and the officer had his wallet in a side pocket of his pants.
Police now believe that Itchabon may have believed the wallet was a toy and, when the officer would not give it to him, the dog bit the officer on his leg and pulled him to the ground, according to MyFoxAL.
Itchabon then circled around back of his partner and bit him in the head. He let go momentarily, but then it appeared he was going to bite the officer again. The officer felt he had no choice but to shoot and kill his own K-9 partner.
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The department said they have had Itchabon for a year and a half and the officer is very upset by Monday's events.
Long said the officer underwent surgery Monday for his injuries and was expected to be released this week and make a complete recovery.
Former law-enforcement patrol dog handler and trainer Harold Holmes said:
My deepest sympathy goes out to the handler who was forced to take the life of his K-9 partner. Police dogs are not just equipment, not even just partners, they are a part of the handler’s family — almost a part of the handler him or her self.
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I wish this officer a full recovery, and the consolation that, although we may never know what caused his dog to go violently out of control, sometimes medical issues affect the brain and cause dogs — just like people — to do things they would not normally do.