Jethro, an Ohio police dog who was shot over the weekend during a burglary investigation has succumbed to his injuries and died Sunday afternoon. Jethro received gunshot wounds to his shoulder during the investigation in northeastern Ohio on Saturday.
Jethro and his human partner, officer Ryan Davis, were responding to a burglary alarm that went off at a Canton business known as Fisher Foods Grocery Store a little after 1 a.m. on Saturday morning when the shootout occurred. The three-year-old German Shepherd was the first of the two to approach the burglar suspect, who opened fire and hit Jethro with several bullets before engaging in a shootout with the police officers while he fled the scene.
The police reported that the burglar suspect was shot in the leg by one of the police officers before managing to escape. He was however, later found hiding out in the yard of a home located fairly close to the store he had just burgled.
The Canton police rushed Jethro to the Stark County Veterinary Emergency Clinic. One of the burglar’s bullets had hit Jethro on the bridge of his nose, and the vet advised he was suffering from severe head trauma as a result. He also had a tremendous amount of brain swelling. Fortunately the bullet did not penetrate, but the blow to the German Shepherd’s head was the equivalent of a human taking a blow to the head from a hammer. During his operations and recovery the Police K-9 Association used Facebook and Instagram posts as a means to keep the public informed on how the police dog was doing.
The Guardian wrote that, during this time, one blogger even started a GoFundMe page to help pay for the the canine’s treatment as well as to enable bullet proof vests for police dogs to be purchased. The K9 Association also shared a t-shirt that Liberty Tactical Equipment had designed in honor of the brave police dog and advised that 100 percent of all proceeds would go to the Canton Police K9 Association.
One of their updates on the Jethro’s status explained that for a while Jethro was doing more harm than good to himself as he struggled against his injuries.
“He’s just trying to beat this thing the way he’s used to, by fighting. So they have given him a sedative that has finally allowed his brain to settle enough to actually close his eyes and rest.”
By late Saturday evening it seemed as if Jethro was on his way towards a recovery and even his human partner, Ryan Davis, who had been by his friend’s side the entire time finally took a moment to rest.
According to Daily Mail, the veterinarians had determined that there were no broken bones and no major organs had been hit by the bullet. When morning came to the clinic, the possibility of a recovery was still present, and another Facebook post thanked everyone for the prayers while expressing hope that the canine would continue to improve.
Unfortunately, by Sunday afternoon Jethro had taken a sudden turn for the worse, and another update from the association advised that he had died. A photo of an American flag covering the police dog’s body was shared before he was removed from the clinic while all the police officers saluted Jethro for his wonderful service. A candlelight vigil was held on Sunday night in honor of the canine hero.
The details of Jethro’s funeral service will be posted to the K9 Association’s Facebook Page today.
[Photo Courtesy of K9 Association’s Instagram & Facebook pages]