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Canine cop Gus on the mend after stabbing in chest

By Kristin Edge

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RECOVERING: Police dog Gus is progressing well and unlikely to need surgery. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
RECOVERING: Police dog Gus is progressing well and unlikely to need surgery. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Gus the injured Northland police dog is up and wagging his tail after being stabbed in the chest.

The german shepherd was stabbed on Thursday morning as he helped a team of police officers chase down an armed man in bushland west of Whangarei.

His handler and another officer carried the injured canine through dense bush more than a kilometre, before he was flown to an Auckland veterinary clinic.

Yesterday Gus was wagging his tail while on a short walk outside, with one leg in plaster and a bandage around his torso.

He is connected to an apparatus that releases air from his punctured lung and has a drip attached to his leg.

Police spokeswoman Sarah Kennett said Gus was progressing well and vets thought it was unlikely he would need surgery.

"Gus was wagging his tail this morning and very happy to see his dog handler," Ms Kennett said.

The dog handler, who was devastated by the incident, was humbled to receive so much public support and thanked everyone for their messages of of support.

The combination have been together since 2009 and have tracked hundreds of criminals across Northland. They have also twice represented Northland at the national police dog championships in Trentham.

A 37-year-old man was arrested and charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, attempting to kill a police dog, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle and assault with a weapon.

A special court hearing was held on Thursday at Whangarei Hospital, where the man was taken after his arrest.

A psychiatric report is being prepared and he will appear in Whangarei District Court on October 14.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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