Grand Rapids police dog stabbed by barricaded man released from animal hospital, recovering

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GRAND RAPIDS, MI — A Grand Rapids police dog severely injured in a stabbing has been released from an animal hospital and will recover at his police handler’s home.

Eli, the police dog, was stabbed eight times when he was sent into a home in the 1300 block of Leonard Street NW after a barricaded man refused to come out.

The dog was stabbed about 3 a.m. Monday, Nov. 14 and the injury caused significant blood loss that required a transfusion and surgery. The dog’s lung was punctured twice and there were other wounds to his shoulder.

Police were able to arrest the barricaded man shortly after the dog was stabbed.

Several officers were at the Animal Emergency Hospital in Grand Rapids on Wednesday, Nov. 16, to offer support as Eli was released.

Police said it’s too early to know whether Eli will be able to return to work. If he cannot, he will be given to his police handler, Officer Justin Kribs, and be allowed to retire as a well-loved pet.

Related: Police K9 stabbed by barricaded gunman has surgery for punctured lung, police say

“On behalf of Officer Kribs, the K9 Unit, and all the men and women of the Grand Rapids Police Department, I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support, prayers, and well wishes. We received hundreds of messages from the community, other law enforcement agencies, and K9 support organizations across the country,” Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom said in a written statement.

“We are extremely grateful to the veterinarians and staff of the Animal Emergency Hospital for their expertise and care. With the severity of his injuries and the significant blood loss he experienced, it is truly a miracle they were able to save Eli,” he said.

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