Halo the Orange County sheriff’s dog came away with a split nose, bloodshot eyes, and a swollen face after an encounter yesterday with a fleeing suspect, says the Orlando Sentinel. It could have been worse — like the partially separated shoulder a suspect gave Halo in February. Or the gunshots, stab wounds, and other injuries police dogs are suffering these days. Commander Sandy Carpenter, who oversees the Orange County K-9 unit, says that in bygone days, “When we caught you with a dog, that was it. The fight was over. In today’s world, with the violent offenders, we’re seeing that’s just the beginning of the fight.”
The Underhill Animal Hospital in Orlando sees at least one attack injury per month in treating 60 to 80 police dogs from three law-enforcement agencies. Trauma from kicking and punching is the most common, said veterinarian Dr. Dan Hill, but the hospital also sees torn nails, choking injuries, and wounds to the eyes from gouging or pepper spray.