A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service K9 officer is being hailed a hero for catching a suspect during a marijuana raid in August.
When an 11-year-old Belgian Malinois named Ice and his handler, Patrol Captain Christopher Magallon, raided an illegal marijuana crop last month, they unearthed more than 5,500 marijuana plants in the Klamath National Forest in California.
According to the USDA, growing any nonnative crop in a forest area can destroy an ecosystem and harm the surrounding wildlife.
When a suspect fled down a hill during the raid, Magallon released Ice to go after him, the USDA said.
Ice was then able to catch and pin down the suspect until Magallon could arrest him, but not before Ice was stabbed nine times.
Magallon performed first aid on his canine partner until he could be flown by helicopter more than 70 miles away to a veterinary specialty center for treatment of his wounds.
His survival was uncertain at the time, but, luckily, Ice was wearing a protective vest that shielded his vital organs from getting stabbed. He was released from the clinic that afternoon.
This was not the first time Ice had a brush with death. In a similar raid in 2016, he received more severe stab wounds than his most recent attack. In that incident, Ice received the 2016 Law Enforcement and Investigations Director’s Award for Valor and Heroism.
American Humane Hero Dogs also recognized Ice as a “hero dog” in the international category. He appeared in a nationally televised awards ceremony to receive the award in 2017.
But alas, even the most heroic dogs have their day. Ice will retire from his service as a K9 this year, leaving behind a legacy of strength and courage.