HOUSTON, Texas — A K-9 officer had to be put down after being injured while chasing a suspect in a stolen vehicle case. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said that K-9 Officer Rony, a 7-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, had nearly 250 apprehensions.
Sad to report K-9 Rony had to be euthanized. He served @houstonpolice for 7 years & had approx. 250 captures. He was simply one of the best. Please keep his handler & extended family in your thoughts. We appreciate the Vet team’s effort & glad he helped capture the suspect today. pic.twitter.com/HIAVx1cnZl
— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) February 21, 2018
Acevedo told Breitbart Texas on Wednesday that K-9 Officer Rony captured the suspect but was severely injured during the chase. A stolen car suspect ran into a police car with his vehicle during a pursuit that ended in northeast Harris County. The suspect jumped out of the stolen vehicle and took off on foot. The K-9 was running full-speed through a wooded area around 1 a.m. when he caught his paw in a hole in a log. Acevedo said the police dog shattered his leg.
Officers took Rony to the Vergi Emergency Animal Hospital in central Houston to see what could be done about the injuries. Acevedo told Breitbart Texas the department was willing to do the surgery, but the veterinarian said Rony was suffering and with all his numerous previous injuries, including arthritis, he would not likely survive the four months of necessary immobilization after having reconstructive surgery.
Chief Acevedo and his officers were very distraught about the situation. He called Rony, “simply one of the best.”
Houston’s top cop asked folks to keep Rony’s handler in their prayers and said he appreciated the veterinarian team’s efforts to try to save Rony.
Acevedo was reported to say to the Houston area paper that Rony “went out the way that he wanted to go out.”
RIP Rony, thanks to you and your partner 250 dangerous suspects were captured including the one last night. You did well and made a difference. Here’s to your legacy of loyal and courageous service. pic.twitter.com/0j547dbVwq
— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) February 21, 2018
The founder of the nonprofit K9s4COPS, Kristi Schiller, told Breitbart Texas: “K9s4COPs both mourns the death and celebrates the life of HPD K-9 Officer Rony. He like other K-9s who help protect our communities gave the ultimate in his service to others. Rony will be greatly missed.”
Schiller, whose organization provides K9s to law enforcement organizations added, “K9s4COPS is proud to supplement the Houston Police Department with another police dog.” The philanthropist and avid police supporter said she talked to HPD Chief Acevedo on Wednesday morning to let him know that K9s4COPS was willing to supplement his department with another K-9. Dennis Shadden is the dog’s handler.
Schiller added, “We want to do whatever we can to help Chief Acevedo. He works tirelessly to protect our city, and he only wants the best for his officers. We are honored to help HPD.”
Minnesota Vikings tight end Brian Robinson, a member of the 2005 University of Texas national championship team, is donating the funds to K9s4COPS to pay for the new K-9 through his Reel ‘Em In Foundation. Robinson’s father is a 30-year veteran retired Houston police officer.
Robinson’s foundation conducts two fishing tournaments a year to raise money to support K9s4Cops efforts to place K-9 officer with law enforcement agencies across the country.
“My wife and I are animal lovers, and we fully support the efforts our law enforcement officer perform to keep our community safe, Robinson told Breitbart Texas. “Our tournaments bring fishermen together with NFL players and other celebrities for a demonstration of the talents and capabilities of working police K-9s. The end result is everyone has a good time and we help law enforcement obtain more police dogs that help protect the lives of other police officers and keep our communities safe.”
Breitbart Texas has reported about the service that K9s4COPS provides to police officers and their communities. According to the nonprofit’s website, K-9s cost between $15,000-$25,000 per dog and most police departments have a hard time coming up with that kind of money to purchase them. After they receive a dog, police departments can provide the care, training, and transportation for the canine.
K-9s have worked with police and military officers since the 1800s. The dogs have a sense of smell that is 300,000-500,000 times stronger than the human nose and are critical to detecting explosives and narcotics, and pursuing fleeing suspects, the K94COPS website says.
Since 2011 dogs donated by K9s4COPS have confiscated more than 1400 firearms, over $200 million dollars in narcotics and cash gained through illicit criminal activity. The police canines have also participated in 1400 arrests and helped keep the peace in over 400 public demonstrations.
Rony is the fourth K-9 office to die this year in the line of duty, According to the Officer Down Memorial Page. In 2017, 24 K-9 officers died in the line of duty.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with additional information about Brian Robinson and the Reel ‘Em In Foundation. Information from the Officer Down MEmorial Page was also added.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, Gab, and Facebook.