San Diego police K9 returns to duty after being stabbed - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego police K9 returns to duty after being stabbed

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — San Diego police K9 Dexter is back to work with his handler after being stabbed earlier this year.

Not only is he patrolling the streets again, but he has a new award for his courage.

The 4-year-old K9 officer suffered a deep stab wound while in the line of duty in February but has made a full recovery.

"[Dexter] suffered a broken rib and a lacerated spleen," said Officer Larry Adair.

Dexter and his handler Officer Dave Winans are one of 35 K9 teams with the San Diego Police Department.

So far in 2018, SDPD K9 teams have received 5,900 radio calls, putting them on pace to respond to 14,000 calls by the year's end. Of the calls received, dogs have been deployed fewer than 740 times; including during a standoff which resulted in Dexter's injuries.

SDPD released a photo of the Belgian Malinois Dexter a few days after the incident showing him resting on an electric blanket after surgery at VCA emergency hospital.

Investigators say 22-year-old Rogelio Carrion stabbed the police service dog with a seven-inch butcher's knife after his mother called 911, reporting her son acting violently inside their Encanto home.

When officers arrived, they say Carrion was armed with a knife, and refused to drop it. That's when a K9 team was called in; the dogs are trained to take down a suspect, as a less-than-lethal force option.

Dexter bit Carrion in the arm, which gave officers time to disarm the suspect, apprehend him, and take him into custody, but Dexter was stabbed in the process.

"I can't tell you how awful it is to see your partner, your friend, your pal, your best friend stabbed, wounded - it's horrible," Officer Adair said.

Dexter received a American Kennel Club Paw of Courage award earlier this month for the sacrifice he made in the line of duty.

Purchasing, training and caring for police dogs is very expensive and the VCA team partners with the SDPD to help cover costs. To make a donation, click here and type "SDPD" in the memo section to donate to the K9 unit.

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