MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (WCCO) — A police dog is in critical condition after being stabbed Friday morning while responding to a call at a Maplewood business.
The dog was stabbed while checking out a car at the Truck Utilities Company near Highway 36 and English Street.
Police were investigating after a rash of break-ins was reported there and had set up a “bait” car.
“When it’s entered in any way, we’re notified right on a radio channel instantaneously,” said Maplewood Police Lt. Dave Kvam.
An alarm went off about 5 a.m. Friday, and when police arrived they arrested two people and called Roseville police for back-up.
Roseville Police dog, Major, was sent in to investigate for more suspects. Police heard the dog make a yipping noise. They believe Roel Perez hid with a crowbar and stabbed Major.
“He was secreted in an area and we think ambushed Major when he came in,” said Roseville Police Chief Rick Mathwig.
Major has lacerations on his head, neck and chest and was brought to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Hospital. He had blood and plasma infusions as soon as he arrived. The dog is in critical but stable condition.
Doctors said the next 24 hours are critical for Major, but they are optimistic that he will recover. It’s unclear if he will be able to continue working as a police dog.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Susie Jones Reports
Meanwhile, a third suspect was found shortly after the first two were apprehended. Maplewood authorities identified them as Ryan Dorner, of Mahtomedi, and James McBain and Roel Perez, both of Maplewood.
Another dog from a different department eventually led police to Perez. That dog had bitten his leg and police believe Perez had bite marks from Major all over his arms.
Major and his handler had just been honored Thursday night with a public safety award from North Memorial Medical Center. A man had tried to drown Major several times in a lake near Roseville in July.
He is a 9-year-old dog and has been with the police department for 7 years.