Police dog shot and killed after seriously injuring its own handler

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The dog, PD Jax, became aggressive in Walton-le-Dale, Lancashire during an investigation (Image: Lancashire Police Dog Unit)
The dog, PD Jax, became aggressive in Walton-le-Dale, Lancashire during an investigation (Image: Lancashire Police Dog Unit)

A police dog that turned on its handler causing "serious injuries" during a search for a missing person has been shot and killed, Lancashire Police said.

The force said that the dog, PD Jax, became aggressive in Walton-le-Dale, Lancashire during an investigation into the whereabouts of a missing person. And the animal bit its handler who is now in hospital with serious injuries. The dog, which was a cross between a Belgian Malinois and a Dutch Herder, was specially trained in finding people hiding in water.

The police force stated: "Around 5.15am today (Thursday, August 3) we were searching for a missing person in a field off Higher Walton Road, Walton-le-Dale. During the search a police dog became aggressive, biting its police dog handler, causing serious injuries." Police said that attempts to restrain the dog after it had bitten the handler failed, and so it had to be put down.

Police dog shot and killed after seriously injuring its own handler eideziqkeiqhhinvPD Jax was shot dead by police after attacking his handler whilst searching for a missing person (Lancashire Police / SWNS)

"Further patrols, including armed officers, attended the scene with attempts made to restrain the dog," said a police statement. "All efforts to restrain the dog failed and given the continuing threat to the injured officer and other patrols, PD Jax was shot at the scene by armed officers, and sadly died.

"The police dog handler suffered a serious upper leg injury and remains in hospital at this time. No members of the public were involved in the incident."

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PD Jax had previously sniffed out offenders hiding in the canal, and in 2020 chased down a drunk driver who fled the scene after crashing a car. Last year, PD Jax helped track a vulnerable woman in her 20s who went missing in a mountain range. Last July, the dog also caught a driver hiding in bushes who was then arrested for dangerous driving and drug driving without insurance and a licence.

Police dog shot and killed after seriously injuring its own handlerThe six-year-old hound was on duty near a river in Lancashire when it became aggressive (Lancs Live/MEN MEDIA)

Police dog shot and killed after seriously injuring its own handlerLast year, PD Jax helped track a vulnerable woman in her 20s who went missing in a mountain range (Greater Manchester Police / SWNS)

Supt Hassan Khan, of Lancashire Police, said that they are "devastated by what has happened and the outcome of the incident" and their thoughts are with the injured handler. He said: “This is never an easy decision for any officer to take, but police have a duty to act where necessary before any further injury is caused, whether to officers, or members of the public.

"We would never put anyone at risk of further harm. These are highly trained, working dogs which do a skilled job, but like any dog can present a danger in certain circumstances. We know how much our dogs are loved by the people of Lancashire and beyond, as well as our own staff. We have been left devastated by what has happened and the outcome of this incident.

"Our thoughts are very much with the injured officer while she undergoes treatment for serious leg injuries and she is receiving our full support. Given the circumstances the incident will be reviewed in due course.”

Tim Hanlon

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