Walker County K-9 shot and killed by his handler; officer still recovering
A Walker County Deputy shot and killed his own K-9 partner, after the animal turned on him during an arrest on Sunday.
Deputy Corey Griffin said he felt his life was in danger when his dog Rocky attacked.
Officials say Griffin may have suffered nerve damage in his left arm after Rocky bit and pulled on it Saturday during a felony arrest in Chickamauga.
Sheriff Steve Wilson says Griffin received stitches and is still healing.
But the emotional aspect of what happened may take more time.
Wilson tells me griffin has cried more in the past three days than his entire life.
Deputy Griffin and Rocky were partners for four years, working hundreds of drug cases together.
Rocky lived with Griffin's family, which is why what happened Saturday is hard to process.
"You have to remember this animal has lived with him and his family 24/7 for the last four years. A K-9 Officer is much closer, in many ways than you and I would be with our pets we have at our home,” Wilson said.
Authorities say Rocky became agitated from all the loud noises in the area.
Griffin tried multiple ways to get rocky to let go, but nothing worked.
He shot Rocky 3 times.
Wilson tells me though the decision was tough, Griffin made the right one.
“You know, saving his life, or had he not then he risks being put down by the animal and we don't want to think what might have happened if it went in that direction,” Wilson said.
According to Wilson, this isn't the first time Rocky has attacked Griffin.
Rocky bit Griffin back in November of last year during a search for a shooting suspect in Rossville.
Wilson reached out to dog trainers and other agencies on Rocky’s behavior, most believed this was just a one-time thing.
I asked Wilson after Saturday’s event if the department would make any policy changes with K-9 officers.
Wilson tells me these incidents aren't uncommon, but predicting them is nearly impossible.
"It happens. And if you can't see it coming, it's hard to predict and it's hard to change things. It might cause us, if we had one incident, it may cause us to retire that dog. That's the only thing I could see that we might consider,” Wilson said.
Though Griffin isn't in trouble for what happened, he wishes he never had to draw his weapon on Rocky.
"We would have given anything if it hadn't ended the way it did. Deputy Griffin is distraught. He's very emotional. And he's been extremely upset over it,” Wilson said.
Wilson says they haven’t looked into replacing Rocky.
He says the process for training K-9 Officers takes a lot of time and money.
He told Griffin he had his full support and wants him to recover as soon as possible.