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K-9 unit community reacts to attack on dog

Posted at 11:53 PM, Nov 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-15 23:53:53-05

Sarge is a ten year old German Shepard and about a week away from retirement with the Niagara County Sheriff's Office. Sarge's handler is Lt. James Hildreth. He's seen a lot with Sarge from narcotics, to searching for lost kids. Both have a special bond with one another.

Tuesday, that bond was tested for a fellow handler in Jamestown, when police say a K-9 was stabbed on the job.

“It really does hit a soft spot with all the handlers,” said Lt. Hildreth

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office knows firsthand what it's like to lose a dog. In 2011, Rocky was killed in the line of duty.  

Since Rocky's death, New York laws have changed. Now, if a working police dog is attacked, it's considered a felony. That's why Keith Robbins is accused of murder, as well as assaulting an officer.

K-9 handlers say it's a law that just makes sense.

“With the amount of time and money we spend on these animals, you're talking 50, 60 thousand dollars to get a dog unit started, with a vehicle, with the training, with man hours that goes into it. They're more than a misdemeanor. It should be a serious crime,” said Hildreth.

As for Mitchell, the K-9 the Jamestown police say was stabbed. He is resting quietly at home and expected to make a full recovery.