A police dog injured in a machete attack while tracking burglary suspects has been passed fit to return to duty within weeks.
West Midlands Police say Stark was sedated and underwent surgery to stitch together nasty wounds on either side of his face after an incident over the weekend.
But the German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois cross is expected to make a full recovery and could be on patrol in a fortnight’s time, after the machete narrowly missed his right eye.
Dog-handler Pc Paul Hopley was on the trail of suspected burglars at 4am on Saturday when a suspect emerged from a hiding place on an allotment in Handsworth, Birmingham.
Pc Hopley recalled hearing the thud of what he thought was a stick coming down repeatedly on three-year-old Stark’s head.
The officer, who ran to the dog’s aid and rugby-tackled the suspect, said: “When I saw the wounds so close to Stark’s eye I feared the worst.
“I thought he could have been blinded in that eye.”
He said of Stark: “We’ve been together for 18 months now and are very much a team. We look out for each other.
“Stark did a great job and it’s a huge relief he’s going to be OK.
“He’s not going to be happy about having to take two weeks off at home to recover. He’s a bundle of energy and even on our rest days is climbing the walls wanting to get back to work.
“And I’m afraid he’s going to have to wear a ‘cone of shame’ until the cuts heal, as otherwise he’s going to try and scratch out the stitches!”
A 16-year-old from Birmingham, who was arrested on suspicion of knife possession and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, remains in hospital after treatment for dog bites.