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Police dog Fi was rescued alive and well last night from the back of a police van at the Molenaar property.
Specialist staff were able to reach the dog van shortly before 10.30 and found "a very much alive" Fi, Superintendent Russell Gibson said.
Fi didn't appear to be hurt, he said, but was being taken to the vet's late last night for a check-up.
Fi is a 5-year-old German shepherd and is Senior Constable Grant Diver's drug dog.
Mr Diver was critically wounded when Jan Molenaar shot him but his condition last night had improved to serious but stable. He has been moved from intensive care into a medical ward at Hawke's Bay Hospital.
Mr Diver has known the grief of losing a police dog.
In 1989 in Hastings, he was investigating a report of a prowler when his dog Rada, 3, was shot at point-blank range with a sawn-off shotgun.
A Herald story from December 19 that year said the pair confronted a man at a house on Oliphant Rd, Raureka, after following his tracks.
Mr Diver released Rada and as the dog ran towards the man it was shot.
On Thursday, Mr Diver left Fi in his van as he approached Molenaar's house to execute a search warrant.
Early yesterday, police feared Fi had been killed.
"He did have a dog with him on site," Superintendent Sam Hoyle said. "The dog is still in his van. We haven't heard from the dog.
"There is a degree of urgency in getting the dog out of the van. We have to say that we have not heard from the dog since this incident started.
"You can draw the obvious conclusions from that."