K9 Shot Multiple Times, Survives Emergency Surgery
BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WDEF) – “A lot of the K9 handlers view their dogs, their partners, as their child,” says Sergeant Evie West with the Cleveland Police Department. Joker is a hard-working dog with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office. His handler is Deputy Eduardo Choate.
“This K9 specifically has assisted us in apprehending many suspects,” says West. Early Wednesday morning, Cleveland Police responded to a call of people breaking into cars. Upon police arriving, the suspects fled and an all-call was sent out to other agencies. Bradley County Sheriff’s deputies found the suspects near the car dealerships off Highway 20. They fled on foot into the woods and Deputy Choate released his K9.
“The suspects were able to get away after shooting K9 Joker, “says West. “They were able to steal another car off Withrow Road that did have the keys inside and a firearm.” The suspects were seen headed south on 75 towards Chattanooga in a stole dark grey Lexus IS 250.
K9 Joker was in emergency surgery for several hours at a clinic off Lee Highway. He is in stable condition but Cleveland Police say the next 24 hours are crucial.
Police K9’s and their handlers have a unique bond. “They love them,” says West. “They would sacrifice their life for them. They’re with them 40 hours plus a week. They live with them. They sleep with them. They’re with their families. They’re a very important part of the family.”