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Thread: K9 Earp
03-23-09, 04:47 PM #1
Police dog stabbing a close call
Rush to hospital by sergeant was lifesaver
By Matthew T. Hall 2:00 a.m. March 23, 2009
San Diego police Sgt. Jess Havin sat with his German shepherd partner, Earp, yesterday at headquarters. (Howard Lipin / Union-Tribune) -
SAN DIEGO — San Diego police Sgt. Jess Havin knew every minute mattered when he scooped up his bloodied partner and bolted to the cruiser they've shared for five years.
It took one minute to escape the chaos of the home where two people lay dead and load his partner into the back. It took five more to race to the hospital, lights flashing and siren blaring in the “code 3” of police jargon.
“We don't have a policy where you run a code 3 for an animal,” Havin said. “I don't care. I did it. I'd do it again.”
Havin's partner is Earp, an 8-year-old German shepherd that is one month from retirement. Friday morning, Earp was stabbed in the throat by a man wielding a butcher knife he had used to kill his wife. It was the first time Earp had been ordered to bite anyone. Before Friday, he had only been sent to find drugs or guns or to scare people.
Earp and Havin were part of a tactical team that tried to save Gail Bradley, 50, inside her home in Paradise Hills after she called 911 to report that her husband, Willard Bradley, had a knife and was suicidal.
Willard Bradley, 51, was known as “Trick Tony,” a magician and entertainer who performed at Balboa Park and birthday parties. Two officers shot him to death after he stabbed Earp and turned on them.
Yesterday, Havin and Earp were recovering from the trauma, and Earp was mending from surgery that saved his life after one of the carotid arteries that carry blood to his brain was sewn shut. The knife had severed it.
Blood was everywhere in the back cage of Havin's car as he called ahead to Earp's veterinarian in Barrio Logan and dispatched another dog handler to grab blood for a transfusion. Havin was trying to keep Earp calm by talking to him. “Auf,” he said repeatedly, a command for the dog to be still.
At first, Dr. Robert Tugend and colleagues at the VCA Main Street Animal Hospital figured Earp was bleeding from the abdomen because that's where blood was pooling. They thought he might have been shot and were preparing for an X-ray to find a bullet – until they spotted the stab wound.
Doctors said Earp had lost so much blood that he would have died if Havin had taken 10 minutes, instead of six, to drive the 8 miles from the home to the hospital.
Earp isn't the first police dog to be injured in San Diego. Dogs were stabbed but survived in 2002 and 2008. Another was hit by a stray bullet in 2000, and an Oceanside police dog plummeted to his death off the Coronado bridge in 2007. At least two San Diego police dogs died in hot patrol cars since 1999.
The Police Department won't decide whether Earp will retire early or return to the force until the end of a mandatory 14-day rest following the attack. Either way, he'll live out his retirement at Haven's home in Alpine.
Police dogs typically retire when they are about 8˝ years old because they start becoming less “driven,” Havin said.
“This dog will slide right into it, especially because the last two nights he's been sleeping in the bedroom,” Havin said.
For now, Earp is going from the outdoor kennel at Havin's house to an indoor cage, and he'll have to get used to being a center of attention.
Officer James Stevens checked in on Havin and Earp yesterday and joked, “There are a bunch of dogs outside your car. I think they want an autograph from Earp.”
Havin handed Earp a few biscuits outside the K-9 Unit headquarters on Federal Boulevard as the pair posed for a photographer. Earp, stitches showing on his shaved chest, moved slowly, his eyes watchful and his ears perking up at the sound of gunshots from the nearby police firing range.
Havin said he “was a great dog, a hardworking dog, very obedient,” but he is operating at less than 60 percent at this point in his recovery.
“I'd like to bring him back and work him at least until he's past his true retirement age,” Havin said. “I think he deserves it.”Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.
Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
or otherwise distort statements of fact.FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley
03-23-09, 04:51 PM #2
Hope he has a quick recovery.
03-23-09, 04:59 PM #3
Thanks for the update, PDawg. What a beautiful dog.SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM-Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"
"It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
-General Omar Bradley, United States Army
03-23-09, 05:59 PM #4
Thanks for posting PDawg. I do like to see good updates.
03-23-09, 07:37 PM #5
Great news.........awesome looking Shepard.Swamp Mafia
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and like it, never really care for anything else.
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03-23-09, 10:46 PM #6
Finally....a little good news.Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012
03-24-09, 12:27 AM #7
Thank God Sgt. Havin didn't have to bury Earp and still has a few more years or so with him. Even if Earp becomes a family pet. After what happened last weekend, I think we all need a bit of good news. Thanks PDawg!
Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.
Not a LEO
In memory of Sgt. Howard K. Stevenson 1965 - 2005. Ceres Police Dept.
In memory of Robert N. Panos 1955 - 2008 Ceres Police Dept.
03-24-09, 12:30 AM #8Never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way" ~Martin Luther King, Jr
03-24-09, 12:33 PM #9
He's a beautiful boy, I'm glad he's doing well!
03-24-09, 12:49 PM #10
Awww, now I have warm fuzzies. Glad to hear Earp is doing well!!--"D.B.A.D." --Me
--Life's tough...it's tougher if you're stupid.
--"Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped." -Elbert Hubbard
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