A police dog has suffered a punctured lung after being
stabbed during an armed offenders call out in the early hours
of this morning.
Northland police dog Gus was protecting his handler when he
was knifed during the incident west of Whangarei, police
He has now been flown to Auckland with his handler for
emergency veterinary treatment, and is expected to survive
Police had been called to an address in Parakao late
yesterday afternoon after reports of a 37-year-old man in an
agitated state carrying a knife and possibly a firearm.
When police and the Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) surrounded
the property he stole a quad bike from a nearby house and
made off. He later ran on foot after police gave chase.
AOS and the police dog handler tracked the man through thick
bush, finally locating him around 4am.
The man then attacked, first stabbing Gus and then attempting
to stab his handler.
A struggle ensued before police managed to subdue and arrest
Whangarei/Kaipara area commander Inspector Tracy Philips said
staff were faced with a dangerous and fluid situation with an
"We had to track him across some difficult terrain in the
dark,'' she said. "After Gus was stabbed, his handler and
another officer had to carry him out through heavy bush and
steep hills for more than a kilometre.''
Ms Phillips said the dog's bravery had saved officers from
The AOS dog was trained to protect his handler, she said.
"He did just that and has paid the price, but thankfully he
has survived,'' she said.
"Gus is very much a part of our police family and we feel for
the dog handler who has witnessed his dog getting seriously
- Northern Advocate