An Oakland County Sheriff's officer was forced to shoot and kill his K-9 dog Thursday when the dog, who was being treated for aggression, attacked him during an appointment with a veterinarian.
In a statement, Sheriff Michael Bouchard called the dog's death an "extremely sad situation on every front."
"These dogs are more than a police asset, they are beloved members of the department and the handler’s family," Bouchard stated.
The 5-year-old purebred German Shepherd named Gunner had been a member of the department since 2007. Gunner's handler, a 23-year veteran of the department, took the dog to the veterinarian to see about treating his aggressive behavior, which had just begun.
"While the handler and the veterinarian were attempting to leash the dog, he jumped up in a biting lunge toward the handler’s face, but the handler was able to block the bite with his forearm," a news release stated. "The dog refused commands to let go of his handler’s forearm and continued to aggressively bite the handler.
"The handler was forced to use his department-issued weapon to protect himself from additional injury."
The dog was killed and the injured K-9 officer was admitted to an area hospital.
According to the Oakland County Sheriff's website, there are 15 dogs in the department's canine unit. The dogs have assisted in finding lost children, robbery suspects and burglars. They have also assisted in narcotic searches during drug raids for several police agencies, including the Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team.
They are also often called to local middle and high schools for narcotics searches.