A routine traffic stop turned into a full-blown disaster for one Florida cop and his K9 partner shortly before 2 a.m. on March 29, 2019. On-duty officers in St. Petersburg stopped a car, but a search was prompted after the suspect fled from the scene.
K9 Officer Greg Shone was on duty that night with his partner, Titan, a 4-and-a-half-year-old Belgian Malinois. As the team searched the area, the suspect panicked and fired a gun, and Titan caught a bullet. The seriously injured dog was rushed to Partridge Animal Hospital and hurriedly prepped for life-saving surgery.
Shone and Titan have been through intensive training together, and beyond working as K9 partners, they had become inseparable. Shone wasn’t about to leave his fallen partner’s side.
Sandra Bentil, an information specialist with the St. Petersburg Police Department, spoke to The Dodo. “Our dogs spend all their time with their handlers,” she shared. “They not only train together, but they are certified together; if his partner is off for the day, we can’t give the dog to another person.”
Officer Shone is keeping an eye on his partner K9 Titan. Titan was shot in the leg this morning while tracking a suspect. A Pinellas County Sheriff’s Sgt. was also shot, and we wish him a speedy recovery.
Bentil described the dog-handler relationship as a “very, very strong bond.”
K9 police dogs are specifically trained to assist their human law-enforcement counterparts, and their work includes searching for explosives and illegal substances, locating missing people, identifying crime scene evidence, and immobilizing perpetrators targeted by the police. K9 units employ specific breeds, predominantly the German shepherd, Belgian Malinois (Titan’s breed), Bloodhound, Dutch Shepherd, and Indian pariah dog.
Titan was adopted from Slovakia for a career in law enforcement, and Shone credits his wife for coming up with the dog’s name. She bestowed the powerful moniker in reference to a movie she loves, Remember the Titans.
“I’ve wanted to be in the K9 unit my entire career,” Shone shared, in a video made shortly after he and Titan were assigned to one another. “One of my good friends … got me interested in K9 work when I first came on, and he was a big part of me wanting to try out, wanting to be in the unit.”
Shone shared his goals: “After we make it through school I want to be a successful member of the unit on the street,” he said, “and I want to make sure that [Titan] and I both go home safe at the end of every shift.”
Shone and Titan have lived and worked together for three years and counting since the bonding experience of training together. Other K9s on the department’s team have been injured in the line of duty, and it’s every police officer’s personal nightmare. But Titan is the first to take a bullet, and the grief weighs heavy for Officer Shone.
Meet new K-9 Officer Greg Shone and his partner "Titan"!In this video Officer Shone talks about how his good friend, Officer Jimmy Olson, got him interested in K-9 work. His good friend and longtime K-9 Officer Jimmy Olson died last year. After this video was recorded, Greg opened up about how great it was for the Department to let him have the K-9 Vehicle that Jimmy drove.Now that we've introduced all three of our new K-9 Officers, please wish them the best of luck!***Remember to click on this link and vote for Officer Bill's K-9 partners name:https://apps.facebook.com/my-polls/form/help-us-name-our-newest-k9
Posted by St. Petersburg Police Department on Friday, May 6, 2016
“He’s very concerned about his dog,” Bentil shared. “He’s in stable condition … I think it’s just a wait and see what he does. Hopefully, he’ll be OK.”
On April 1, 2019, the St. Petersburg Police Department posted an update on Twitter. “[We are] encouraged that Titan is out & about thanks to the wonderful vets, nurses & techs at .@PartridgeAH,” they began. “We’re hoping he starts eating good soon to get back to his full titan strength!”
#Stpetepd K9 Titan is recovering from his gunshot wound. He’s up & around but still on antibiotics & pain meds — he doesn’t like that IV too much! Hopefully he’ll be able to go home this week. pic.twitter.com/2yz5YEIQNS
— St. Pete Police (@StPetePD) March 31, 2019
They ended the post with a powerhouse hashtag: #TitanStrong
We couldn’t agree more. Here’s wishing Titan a full recovery and a return to normality for the brothers in arms after the wounded pup’s ordeal.