CEDAR CITY – A police K-9 officer injured in the line of duty underwent surgery in Las Vegas last week. If all goes well, the Cedar City Police Department hopes to see Pakjo, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, return to full duty after several weeks of rehabilitation.
In a press release, CCPD Sgt. Jimmy Roden said Pajko’s surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck was successful. Pajko was injured during the arrest of a 48-year-old Cedar City man who was originally the subject of a welfare check by police Thursday.
Officers located the man’s vehicle near the water tank on Nichols Canyon Road. He was located in a wooded area away from the vehicle and was in possession of a handgun. When officers attempted to establish contact with the man, he fired a single gunshot into the air and then hiked deeper into the foothills east of the water tank.
Officers were eventually able to contact the man after dark. He dropped his handgun, but only after being given several commands by police to do so. He failed to comply with other lawful orders. K-9 Officer Pajko was deployed and engaged the man, during which time he was injured.
The man was arrested on multiple counts, including assaulting a police animal, refusing to obey police commands and weapon and drug-related offenses.
Pajko was taken to a specialist for treatment in Las Vegas Friday and underwent surgery Saturday. If there are no setbacks in Pajko’s condition, he may be released from the animal hospital Tuesday.
There will be several weeks of rehabilitation involved before Pajko may be able to return to full duties.
Sgt. Roden said the Cedar City Police Department wishes to thank all of those who have shown support for K-9 Officer Pajko and the police department.
Future updates on Pajko’s condition can be found on the Facebook page “Friends of Iron County Police K9.”
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