Recently, a career criminal shot and killed a police dog before being shot himself in Riverside, CA.

Bio SoCal has the utmost respect for the Riverside County Sheriffs who put their lives on the line daily to help protect all of us in Riverside County. We are deeply saddened by the loss of Officer Rudy, K-9 Unit.

Police dog killed after tracking the suspect

The suspect had several outstanding felony warrants including robbery, sexually assaulting a child, and a parole violation. He had been fleeing police for the last several weeks and was currently hiding out in Riverside County near Los Angeles.

That afternoon, a woman called 911 to report a woman and man, both high on drugs, who had come onto their property while avoiding arrest. The Special Enforcement Bureau of the local sheriff’s office, who had been tracking the suspect down for the last several weeks, used a K-9 police dog to locate the suspect hiding in thick brush. When police approached, the man open fired on deputies, hitting Rudy, the K-9 police dog. The armed suspect then fled toward occupied homes with officers in pursuit when an officer-involved shooting occurred and the suspect was killed.

Rudy was immediately taken to a veterinary hospital but he sadly passed away from his injuries. Just a week before the shooting, Rudy and his handler received first place at the Las Vegas Metro Police K-9 Trials in the Handler Protection Category. A beloved dog, he was instrumental in the work of the police and will be sorely missed by those who knew him.

K-9 Officers Provide Important Services

Used as far back as the 1400s in different parts of Europe, dogs have played an instrumental role in our police forces across the United States since the early 1900s. With their strong sense of smell, specially trained police dogs can track criminals, sniff out drugs, rescue lost individuals, and find explosives. The Germans originally selected the German Shepherd Dog as the ideal breed for such work, but other popular choices include Belgian Malinois, Bloodhounds, Dutch Shepherds, and Labrador Retrievers. These breeds are known for their intelligence, working ability, desire to cooperate, and for their tenacity.

Police dogs are trained from a very early age for the duties they will perform. Some dogs do many different tasks such as tracking suspects and finding drugs. In larger departments, other dogs may be trained for very specific tasks such as locating explosives. Dogs are never trained to find both drugs and explosives as they can’t tell their human partners which one they found. Any dog serving on the police force are partnered with a human officer who is their “handler.” The K-9 lives with their handler and becomes a part of the family. At the end of a dog’s working life, typically 6-9 years, the handler usually adopts the dog as a pet and cares for them the rest of the dog’s life. As time passes, the trust between the dog and their handler grows and they form a strong bond, backing each other up in tough situations.

Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Rudy

Our thoughts are with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office, K-9 officer Rudy, and his human partner. Thank you Sheriff Chad Bianco for continuing to track down these criminals. Justice has been served in this case.

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