Just one year from retirement, a Clark County Sheriff’s Office canine was fatally stabbed shortly after midnight Saturday.
Kane, who worked as a police dog for six years, was transported to and then pronounced dead at St. Francis Animal Hospital.
Deputies spotted two people driving in a vehicle with stolen license plates in a cul-de-sac near Heritage High School, said Sgt. Scott Schanaker, a sheriff’s spokesman. They followed the vehicle south to the intersection of Northeast 76th Street and 117th Avenue.
At one point, the driver allegedly tried to ram a patrol car before both people got out of the stolen vehicle and fled on foot. As the pair ran, Kane tried to detain one of them and was stabbed, according to a news release.
A commenter on The Columbian’s website claiming to have heard the incident over a police scanner wrote that Kane had caught somebody and was stabbed. He then grabbed the person a second time and was stabbed again.
Another commenter wrote that Kane was stabbed near her house. “(Kane’s) cries will haunt me for a long time,” wrote someone using the username “tj.”
Deputies said the suspects in the incident were taken into custody after the Southwest Washington Regional SWAT Team was called to assist deputies, Vancouver police and Washington State Patrol. There were no other injuries reported.
Keegan H. Graves, 31, of La Center was arrested on suspicion of harming a police dog, auto theft and attempting to elude a police officer. Natasa M. Cresap, 22, of Yacolt was arrested on an outstanding Department of Corrections warrant.
Harming a police dog is a Class C felony, according to state statutes. A Class C felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
An investigation by the regional crimes unit is ongoing.
A Dutch shepherd, Kane had been with the sheriff’s office since March 2005. Kane and his handler, Deputy Rick Osborne, were, as of 2008, one of just three K-9 teams in Washington certified in “Stabo,” or short-term airborne operations. That means both dog and handler could fly harnessed below helicopters on a heavy rope.
The duo received an award in 2008 from the President’s Executive Office of National Drug Control Policy for marijuana eradication.
Kane was scheduled to retire in 2012.
Almost all police dogs come from Europe and cost anywhere from $5,000 to $9,600. The dogs generally have careers ranging from three to seven years.
The dogs are brought to America when they are 16 months to 4 years old. They spend 400 hours training with a handler, who generally gives commands in German, and another 200 hours of training to detect narcotics.
“The bond between the K-9 handler and their dog is very strong,” the press release said.
Vancouver police K-9 Dakota was shot pursuing a suspect in October 2007. The conviction was Ronald J. Chenette’s “third strike,” triggering a life sentence.
Bob Albrecht: 360-735-4522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.