Police dog ‘Stark’ is back at home recovering from a shocking attack at the weekend after being attacked by a thug who was armed with a machete.
West Midlands Police has confirmed that PD ‘Stark’ will, however, make a full recovery from his horrific injuries.
Dog handler PC Paul Hopley was on the trail of suspected burglars at 4 am on Saturday (14 Nov) when a teenager emerged from his allotment hiding place and lunged at Stark.
PC Hopley recalled hearing the thud of what he thought was a stick coming down repeatedly on three-year-old Stark’s head. But as he ran to the dog’s aid, it became clear the 16-year-old was armed with a rusty machete and his faithful police partner was bleeding heavily from several cuts.
The brave police officer rugby tackled the knifeman to the floor, and police dog Stark helped detain him in the allotments off Larch Avenue in Handsworth.
Police dog Stark was rushed to the nearest emergency vets for treatment. The thug responsible for his injuries was taken to hospital with bite marks as PD Stark’s protective instincts kicked in, resulting in several deep bite marks being left on the thug’s legs.
Stark – a German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois cross – was sedated and underwent surgery to stitch together nasty wounds on either side of his face.
Thankfully, the blade narrowly missed Stark’s right eye, and vets have said he’ll make a full recovery and be back on the hunt for criminals in a couple of weeks.
PC Hopley said: “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.
“We’d had reports of people with torches acting suspiciously behind houses. The allotments were big, lots of places to hide, but after around 20 minutes Stark sniffed out the suspect.
“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!”