Police dog 'Gus'
The Northland police dog who was stabbed in the lung
during an arrest in dense bush could be back on the beat within
Whangarei police constable and dog handler Pete Kinane said
his best mate police dog Gus was making a speedy recovery,
and if the canine crime fighter passed fitness tests they
could be back pounding the beat in four weeks.
During a press conference at Whangarei police station today
Gus sat on a table, keeping a close eye on his boss and
suddenly becoming very interested at the sound of nearby
"He's bounced back real well. The stab wound went between the
triceps muscle, through the chest into the lung. It doesn't
get a lot worse," Mr Kinane said.
The only clue to the horrific and life threatening injury Gus
sustained last Wednesday was a large section of shaved hair
on his left side.
The stab wound on his shoulder was visible, but healing
Mr Kinane said the stitches would come out in in 10 to 14
days and after a vet visit and clearance he would be back on
He was very grateful to everyone who had helped ensure Gus
survived and the massive amount of public support.
"In this job you don't deal with nice people so to get nice
messages from the public is humbling. It's the motivation we
need to get back on there every day and do our job."
Mr Kinane and a fellow officer got Gus out of the bush after
he was stabbed. They were then rushed to Mill Rd Vet Clinic
in Whangarei where Gus was stabilised before being flown by
police helicopter to Veterinary Specialist Group in Auckland.
A team was on standby and were able to start their treatment
Head of the Northland police dog unit Sergeant Phil Kahotera
said it was touch and go as to whether Gus would make it but
thanks to the team work from everyone involved the canine duo
would be back in action.
He said Gus was a very special dog and as well as tracking
offenders was there to protect his handler.
Northland AOS commander Inspector Dean Robinson, who was at
the incident, said if everything hadn't come together the way
it did Gus may not have survived.
Following a special hearing in Whangarei Hospital last
Thursday a 37-year-old man was charged with aggravated
assault on a police officer, attempting to kill a police dog,
unlawfully taking a vehicle and assault with a weapon.
The man was remanded in custody for a psychiatric report and
will appear in the Whangarei District Court on October 14.
The charge of killing or injuring a police dog is punishable
by a maximum of two years' jail and/or a $15,000 fine.
- By Kristin Edge of the Northern Advocate