A Clark County Sheriff’s Office dog was stabbed and killed in the line of duty early Saturday morning.
Spokesman Sgt. Scott Schanaker said police dog Kane was helping deputies search for two suspects who fled a stolen vehicle shortly after midnight. The suspects had previously tried to ram a patrol car with the car.
Kane managed to track down one of the suspects and was trying to detain him when the suspect stabbed the dog, Schanaker said. The dog had managed to bite the suspect.
Kane was taken to St. Francis Animal Hospital, but later died.
Both suspects were eventually arrested with help from the regional SWAT team. 31-year-old LaCenter resident Keegan H. Graves faces charges of harming a police dog, auto theft and attempting to elude a police officer. 22-year-old Yacolt resident Natasa M. Cresap was arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Kane had served with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office for six years and was scheduled to retire in 2012. According to The Columbian newspaper, Kane is a Dutch shepherd and his handler is Rick Osborne.
"These dogs are so integral in what we do on a daily basis," Sgt. Schanaker said. "The handlers and their dogs are assigned to a certain squad so they work patrol on a regular basis, they become part of this team."
Kane and Osborne were one of only a handful of K-9 teams in Washington to be certified in “STABO”, or “short-term airborne operations,” The Columbian reported. That means both were able to fly below a helicopter with a harness and heavy rope.
Kane and his handler would fly and drop in on marijuana grows.
In 2008, Kane was given an award from the President’s Executive Office of National Drug Control Policy for his work on marijuana eradication projects.
In 2007, another Clark County police dog was killed in the line of duty. A Vancouver Police Department German shepherd named Dakota was shot during a standoff with an armed suspect.
KATU reporter Meghan Kalkstein and photographer Patty Norman contributed to this report