Lifestyle & Human Interest

K9 Officer Stabbed While Taking Down Perp, Cops Say He Likely Prevented Shooting


Green Bay Police Department nearly lost at least one of their officers on April 7, when a man started to threaten his family and police showed up to intervene.

Pyro, the K-9 officer, managed to stop the situation from getting any worse, but in the process he sustained serious knife injuries to his neck. Police Chief Andrew Smith says Pyro likely prevented a shooting before he was immediately whisked away to a hospital.

“Here is the Latest Update from the Animal Referral Center,” the department page shared on April 8. “K9 Officer Pyro presented to the Animal Referral Center Green Bay Campus after sustaining three knife wound injuries to the neck.

“K9 Pyro had received wound care in the field by police officers and his handler at the scene, and was transported for emergency care to the Green Bay Center on 4/8/2019.”

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Veterinary critical care specialists Dr. Susan Leonard and Dr. Lisa Peters took over when Pyro was taken to the Animal Referral Center, and Dr. Ryan Demianiuk performed emergency surgery on the poor dog.

During the process, Pyro also experienced another serious health problem: His stomach had twisted. Back into surgery to address that issue, and now the K-9 has a lot of recovery in front of him.

“Pyro is now in recovery in the Intensive Care Unit at the Animal Referral Center where he is getting 24 hour specialty care,” the post continued. “He was able to stand briefly as he was coming out of anesthesia as shown in the attached photo. He is listed in critical but stable condition.”

“We have very high hopes that he’s going to survive this incident,” Police Chief Andrew Smith told WABC-TV. “Much higher than our hopes were this morning when it looked like he had a less than 50 percent chance of survival.”

Thankfully, as time marched on, the dog regained some of his strength. By April 9, Pyro was still getting 24-hour care but seems to be doing well, considering.

“Pyro’s handler, Officer Scott Salzmann remains by his side and has been sleeping at the Animal Referral Center for the past few days so he can be close to his canine partner and assist with his care as much as possible,” the Green Bay Police Department posted. “Having his partner close and keeping Pyro calm is especially important during these critical steps in his recovery.”

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According to Police Chief Andrew Smith, Pryo is a hero. Smith maintained that the altercation could have turned into a shooting had Pyro not acted.

It was fitting, then, that the mayor decided to visit the recuperating officer and recognize his bravery by giving him a key to the city.

“Mayor Jim Schmitt along with Chief Andrew Smith visited Pyro at the medical facility Tuesday afternoon,” the post read. “Pyro was able to get up, walk outside and enjoy the Wisconsin sunshine for a few minutes. Pyro still has a feeding tube, several fluid drains for his injured neck and an IV installed.”

This courageous dog is in the best hands and is receiving expert care, so hopefully he’ll be able to make a complete recovery and get back to doing what he does best: stopping the bad guys.

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