The K-9, named Odin, was sedated and treated for two hours and is resting at home, according to the Coos County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies deployed Odin to nab a fleeing suspect, who was identified as 29-year-old Devin J. Wilson, over the weekend when the dog encountered a porcupine and was pierced with hundreds of quills. Several of the quills went into the animal’s mouth and two got stuck near the dog’s eye.
Press Release: Warrant Service, K9 Track and Injury pic.twitter.com/xZbQiYujID
— Coos County SO (@Coos_County_SO) April 22, 2019
In the search, police immediately suspended the search and rushed Odin to a veterinarian at Hanson-Meekins Animal Hospital, the office said in a news release.
“The sheriff’s office would like to offer thanks to the staff at Hanson-Meekins for their dedication and professional care, as well as to the public for the outpouring of support for K9 Odin,” a news release from the office said.
Odin is now doing well and recovering, but the porcupine “remains at large,” officials said, according to Fox12.
A Coos County K-9 encountered a porcupine while searching for a suspect:
“That dog is super-motivated and high energy. It didn’t slow him down,” Capt. Gabe Fabrizio told The Associated Press. “He’s a good boy.”
Fabrizio also joked that “we’re putting out wanted bulletins as we speak.”
The search was called off after the dog was quilled. 🐶
“He will have a follow-up check in one week to ensure there are no issues with his left eye, which was barely missed by some quills, but appears OK at this time,” Fabrizio said, according to KOMO News.
Deputies are still looking for Wilson.
“The Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in locating Mr. Wilson as he has committed new crimes and still has outstanding warrants,” the sheriff’s office said, KOMO reported.
The injuries to the dog, meanwhile, happened hours after it took part in a “meet the public” event during an Easter egg hunt in the area.
Supreme Court Ruling on K-9s
In 2013, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling made it easier for police to use K-9s, stating “the sniff is up to snuff,” in a Florida case on how police may use dogs to track down illegal drugs, Reuters reported.
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court gave law enforcement authorities greater authority to use dogs to uncover illegal drugs, upholding a police dog’s search of a truck that uncovered methamphetamine ingredients inside.
The justices said that training records had established the reliability of Aldo, a German shepherd, in sniffing out contraband, and that Florida’s Supreme Court erred in suppressing evidence he found in Clayton Harris’ pickup truck.
“The question – similar to every inquiry into probable cause – is whether all the facts surrounding a dog’s alert, viewed through the lens of common sense, would make a reasonably prudent person think that a search would reveal contraband or evidence of a crime,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court. “A sniff is up to snuff when it meets that test.”
Reuters contributed to this report.