SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) – After being stabbed earlier this week by a suspected violent felon, a San Joaquin County Sheriff’s K-9 is now on the road to recovery.
Kimbo may be injured but he’s just as curious and active as he continues to recover.
“I’m proud of my dog. It was his first physical apprehension, I feel like he did a really good job,” Kimbo’s handler Deputy Alex Serrano said.
Serrano said he and the German shepherd Belgian malinois mix were first approved to patrol the streets two weeks ago.
On June 17, they got a call to assist the Stockton Police Department.
“All less lethal options were used and he continued to become … to stay as a threat,” Serrano explained.
According to investigators, John Sandoval had been threatening to stab his ex-wife.
Officers said they tried to negotiate but the suspect — with a hatchet and three knives in hand — did not budge. So, Kimbo was called to act.
“I was emotional. It was hard for me to send him in,” Serrano said. “This is their job, I mean this is what they were trained to do, was to not just protect me but the officers on scene and the public.”
Serrano said Kimbo got a hold of Sandoval but the suspect stabbed him twice, once striking his harness another to the 21-month-old K-9’s right side.
Despite his injuries, the K-9 did his duty.
“He held on for quite some time until we were able to make a safe approach as a whole team,” Serrano said.
Serrano said Kimbo underwent surgery and is now taking four different medications.
Kimbo now has four weeks of recovery left because he did suffer a damaged muscle, artery and tendon.
Serrano, a former boxer, recognizes his furry partner is not only brave, he’s a fellow fighter.
“And I think the name Kimbo is fitting because it’s the name of a UFC fighter and I mean this dog has a lot of fight, he’s already proven it once,” Serrano said.