Two HPD K9s recovering after serious injuries in two Oahu shootouts
HPD dogs Zero & Hunter are back in training at the police academy headquarters in Waipahu.
Two Honolulu Police Department K9's seriously injured in separate shootouts this summer are on the road to recovery.
K9s Zero and Hunter are both doing well. The pair sustained serious injuries but the department says they played key roles in deescalating life threatening situations.
"I didn’t realize I got shot initially. I just initially thought that my dog bumped into me because he’s always on my left side," Corporal Pete Jones, HPD Specialized Services Division said.
Jones suffered five gunshot wounds during a standoff in Nanakuli in July. His K9 Hunter was hit twice, once in the neck and another punctured his vest. Jones said the injured dog didn't let on he was wounded.
"If we didn't do our checks of him because he was acting a little strange we wouldn't have picked up the blood and stuff. These dogs are totally resilient their tolerance for pain is unbelievable," Jones said.
HPD says Belgian Malinois are specifically bred to sustain intense pain and push through it. The department's 11 member K-9 unit are trained in sniffing out narcotics, some explicitly for explosives.
The entire unit is tapped on at least once a month to assist patrol units in searching for everything from evidence to a missing person- and even apprehending a suspect.
"They love to bite. they love to work. It's just like when any owner goes and plays catch it's like a game. That's kind of what we do with them we make it out to be a game so it's fun for them they want to do it they want to work," Sgt. Brad Heatherly, HPD SWAT said.
K9 Zero was stabbed in the head during a shootout in Sunset Beach in June. The K9s have since recovered and back on the unit ready to work.
According to police, HPD, the K9 unit has been tapped on more frequently in recent years, playing a vital role in pacifying suspects on scene.
"A lot of our situations have been resolved just by bringing the dog up the guy gives up.," Wayne Silva, HPD Specialized Services Division, said.
"They don't want to be bit. They rather fight but they don't want to fight when there is a dog there and they just give up and the walk out," Heatherly said.
HPD says it's working on getting additional ballistic vests for its K9's.