HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A Hancock County Sheriff's deputy and his K9 partner, Ringo, are recovering from bite wounds after a pit bull attacked them Wednesday night.
Jeremy Skinner, commander of the department's narcotics division, said deputies were attempting to serve a felony warrant on Sterling Kuhlman on Chester Lee Rd. when the dog attacked. Kuhlman is wanted for felony burglary and assault charges, according to Skinner.
Skinner said deputies made contact with someone inside the home, but determined Kuhlman was not there.
The deputy who was handling Ringo was trying to put him back in the patrol cruiser while other deputies gathered information. That's when the pit bull ran out from behind the car, jumped in the back seat and attacked Ringo.
The deputy handler immediately jumped in to action to save his partner. Skinner said the pit bull had bitten down on Ringo's back legs and was violently thrashing around.
The deputy handler pulled both dogs out of the car, and that's when the pit bull turned his attention toward the deputy.
Skinner said the pit bull attacked the leg of Ringo's handler. Then, it was Ringo's turn to come to the aid of his partner.
Ringo attacked the pit bull, drawing its attention away from the injured deputy. The pit bull began attacking Ringo again, but this time it went for the throat.
According to Skinner, the deputy handler feared for Ringo's life, so he fired a single shot at the pit bull. The injured pit bull then let go of Ringo and ran off.
Skinner said the deputy handler immediately started treating Ringo for his injuries. The owner of the pit bull was allowed to take the animal to the veterinarian. The dog is expected to make a full recovery.
The deputy was taken to the hospital for treatment and Ringo was taken to his veterinarian. The deputy was released from the hospital the same night and has already returned to patrol, but without his partner at his side.
Skinner said Ringo is expected to make a full recovery, but he is still being treated for his injuries.
"While this is an unfortunate event, our deputy did what was expected of him and protected his canine partner just like his canine partner defended him. We are hopeful that all parties recovery fully from this incident," said Skinner.