Six-year-old Belgian shepherd police dog Ounooi is in a stable condition after she was stabbed by a suspect on Saturday morning.
Ounooi is attached to the Port Alfred K9 unit, and responded to a housebreaking complaint with her human SAPS members in the early hours of Saturday, said Mali Govender from the South African Police (SAPS).
The team followed a lead to the beach in the small Eastern Cape town when Ounooi’s handler spotted the suspect.
Govender explained that Ounooi’s handler warned the suspect to stop and he ignored the command. He then unleashed Ounooi.
“The handler then released his patrol dog – Ounooi and whilst she attempted to apprehend the suspect, the offender then started to stab Ounooi on her upper body and in the chest area.
“Weak from the stab wounds, Ounooi collapsed and the suspect ran towards the water.
“Ounooi was taken to the local vet for medical treatment. The stab wounds damaged muscles close to her heart. She is currently in a stable condition and has been booked off duty to recuperate,” Govender explained.
The suspect could not be found, and the search is ongoing, said police.
Port Alfred police Cluster Commander, Brigadier Morgan Govender wished Ounooi a heartfelt and speedy recovery.
“Ounooi has displayed extreme dedication, bravery, and courage throughout her four years in the service and has been instrumental in apprehending several suspects whilst on duty. The handler will be referred for trauma counselling.”
Govender condemned the attack on Ounooi.
“An attack on a police officer is an attack on the state and similarly, an attack on any of our serving canine or equine personnel is an attack on the state.
“These faithful animals serve alongside their human police officers of the SAPS with passion, discipline, and dedication,” said Govender.
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