The Honolulu Police Department on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu is proud to employ several working K9s as part of their team. The dogs accompany officers on dangerous assignments and have been an integral part in keeping the island safe.
One of those working dogs is a Belgian Malinois named Zero. He first joined the department in 2014, and he’s earned a reputation for being a valuable asset on the field. When a call about a domestic dispute turned dangerous this past weekend, he risked his life in the line of duty.
Thanks to an anonymous donor and Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., a four-legged member of the Honolulu Police Department's…
Three years ago in 2015, K9 Zero became the ninth Hawaiian police dog to receive a custom-fit bullet and stab-proof vest. An anonymous donor paid for the vest through a non-profit organization called Vested Interest in K9s. Zero’s vest was made especially for him, and he’s worn it faithfully on every raid, arrest, and protective mission he’s been on since he first had it fitted.
On June 23, Zero’s vest saved his life. He and his handler were called to a home on the island’s north shore. It appeared two roommates were having an argument about utility bills. After a short time, police deemed the situation to be under control, and they left the scene.
A few hours later, however, they received a call from a neighbor saying the arguing had started again—and this time, there were weapons involved. Police returned to the home and found a 32-year-old male suspect who appeared to be “agitated and delusional.” Police said he was threatening neighbors with numerous knives and a bow and arrow. He also threatened to turn the weapons on himself.
A police psychologist made the decision to take the man into custody and perform a mental health evaluation, and HPD’s Specialized Services Division attempted for several hours to talk and calm him down. The man refused to cooperate, and he eventually exited his home brandishing a bow and arrow. When a taser and tear gas failed to subdue the man, the decision was made to send in K9 Zero.
Zero acted with bravery and without hesitation. He continued to do as he was trained even when the suspect began stabbing him with an arrow. Zero was stabbed multiple times in the torso where he was protected by his vest, and several more times in the neck where his skin was exposed. Fearing for Zero’s life and the safety of the officers and neighbors, police fired three shots to bring down the attacker.
The Honolulu Police Department extends a warm mahalo to Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., and an anonymous sponsor for…
While the vest protected Zero from the worst of the stabbing, he needed immediate medical attention. He underwent surgery Saturday morning while his fellow police officers and the entire Honolulu County community awaited news on his condition. His surgery was successful, and K9 Zero is expected to make a full recovery. Major Darren Chun, commander of the Specialized Services Division, said back when Zero first received his vest,
“Our canines are highly trained and an invaluable asset in fighting crime and protecting the community and our officers. Providing protective vests for our canines is crucial because they face some of the same risks as our officers.”
Zero risks his life for his community every time he puts on his vest and goes to work. There are an estimated 30,000 working canines in the country, but not all of them are as fortunate as Zero when it comes to having a protective vest.
You can help protect police dogs and support their mission by checking out the K9 Body Armor collection from iHeartdogs. Every purchase goes toward saving a police dog like K9 Zero.
h/t: Hawaii News Now
Featured image via Facebook/Honolulu Police Department
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