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Goodhue County K9 recovering after stabbing

Deputy Bowron kneels next to his K9, Ambush. (photo courtesy of Goodhue County Sheriff's Office)

A Goodhue County Sheriff's Office K-9 was stabbed earlier this month after chasing a suspect in Wabasha County.

Ambush, the K-9 handled by Goodhue County's Sheriff's Deputy Matt Bowron, has reached the final stages of recovery and will be cleared for duty within the next week, the department said.

The suspect, Shane Cronin, 27 of Lake City, was bitten by Ambush. Cronin was reported speeding on Jan. 5 and caught fleeing a peace officer. A Wabasha County deputy was also bitten by the K-9 in the altercation and later received stitches.

Cronin was taken to Wabasha County Jail on counts of fleeing a police officer, harming a public safety dog and possession of a controlled substance.

Ambush will undergo a series of training to ensure that he is readily prepared to return to the job on his first few days back, including bite work and an evaluation of his recent incident.

Sheriff Scott McNurlin noted Ambush would have returned sooner, but there were minor complications during his recovery.

Goodhue County currently has three K-9s. Their handlers are chosen based on interest after conducting a process to make sure the deputy is a good fit. Each dog serves on average right to 10 years.

"They're worth their weight in gold," McNurlin said. The K-9s, like police officers, are exposed to environmental and criminal dangers, "It's not the life of a normal dog."

What takes a K-9 minutes to do, may take a sheriff hours, he said. Ambush's job includes, but is definitely not limited to, searching for articles on a scene, whether it be a weapon or drugs and sometimes even searching for computer equipment. The K-9 is also trained to search through a building for suspects.

After receiving criticisms of Ambush's line of duty, McNurlin wanted to emphasize the importance of having K-9s and what it is their job entails when protecting the public. In this incident, there was more than one life at risk.

"Ambush may have saved a life of an officer and a suspect," he said. "Just like a peace officer, they're in harm's way to protect others."

Police K-9's spend their life with their handler. While recovering after his stabbing, Ambush has spent time with Bowron. The two will be returning to work within the next week.

Kit Murray

Kit Murray joined Red Wing Republican Eagle in Aug. 2016, covering government, transportation and public safety. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead with a degree in photojournalism and philosophy. 

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