A police dog is recovering after being attacked multiple times with a machete.
Stark – a German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois cross – was sedated and underwent surgery to stitch together wounds on either side of his face.
The West Midlands Police Dog was hit numerous times near his eye but still managed to bite the attacker on his leg, allowing the officer to catch him.
Dog handler PC Paul Hopley was on the trail of suspected burglars at 4am on Saturday (14 Nov) when a teenager emerged from his allotment hiding place and allegedly lunged at Stark.
The police officer recalled hearing the thud of what he thought was a stick coming down repeatedly on the dog’s head.
But as he ran to Stark’s aid it appeared the suspect was armed with a machete and the dog was bleeding from several cuts.
‘When I saw the wounds so close to Stark’s eye I feared the worst. I thought he could have been blinded in that eye,’ said Pc Hopley.
The police officer and Stark were responding to reports of people with torches acting suspiciously behind houses.
Stark, who is just three years old, sniffed out the suspect within 20 minutes.
Pc Hopley said: ‘He ran off but Stark chased him down. He struck Stark a few times with the machete but I managed to disorientate him with incapacitant spray and then tackle him to the floor.
‘We’ve been together for 18 months now and are very much a team. We look out for each other. Stark did a great job and it’s a huge relief he’s going to be OK.
‘He’s not going to be happy about having to take two weeks off at home to recover. He’s a bundle of energy and even on our rest days is climbing the walls wanting to get back to work.
‘And I’m afraid he’s going to have to wear a ‘cone of shame’ until the cuts heal as otherwise he’s going to try and scratch out the stitches.’
A 16-year-old from Birmingham was arrested on suspicion of knife possession and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
He remains in hospital having undergone treatment for dog bites.
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