MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We often talk about police officers willing to sacrifice, but this story centers around a Roseville K-9 who became the victim.
Major, an 11-year-old German Shepherd, was stabbed and beaten by a burglary suspect more than a year ago. Although he’s lost the use of his hind legs, he hasn’t lost the loyalty of his handler. Major is adjusting to life after police work.
After Officer John Jorgensen leaves for work, Major barks — sometimes non-stop — until he comes back. He wants to go too.
“These dogs, once they start doin’ police work, that’s all they wanna do,” Jorgensen said.
Jorgensen and Major have spent eight years and 100,000 miles in the car together.
“My wife likes to point out that I’ve been with Major longer than her,” Jorgensen said.
After the stabbing in November of 2010, Major underwent therapy seven days a week for three months.
“He was stabbed on the top of his head, behind his left ear, the middle of his shoulder blades, and once in the mid-back area,” Jorgensen said.
With the help of what acts as a K-9 wheel chair, Major gets around. But there’s one place he’s not allowed to go: the garage.
That’s where Otis, Jorgensen’s newest K-9, is.
“Major definitely knows there’s something up,” Jorgensen said. “When you come in reeking like another dog every day.”
Jorgensen just started basic K-9 school with Otis, who was actually bred to be a police service dog whereas Major started as a house pet.
“Most guys or gals don’t get to do it once, never mind twice, so I feel very lucky,” Jorgensen said. “If Otis is half the dog that Major was, then we’ll be in good shape.”
Otis and Major will be able to meet once Otis is done with his 12 weeks of training. Jorgensen expects them to get along just fine.
Since Major’s injury, Jorgensen has helped get legislation passed to increase the penalties for someone who hurts a K-9.