July 21, 2016 started like any other day on the job for K-9 Ice, a narcotics and patrol dog with the U.S. Forest Service. Early in the morning, Ice deployed to a suspected illegal marijuana production site on public lands within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Alongside him were U.S. Forest Service officers and deputies from the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office in California.
The team found suspects at the site, two of whom attempted to flee the scene. Ice went after one, who pulled out a large knife and stabbed the dog in the chest, face and muzzle. While losing blood, Ice continued to pursue the suspect until he was taken into custody. Because of Ice’s service, other officers were likely saved from harm while apprehending the suspect.
Immediately, Ice’s team recognized that the dog was in danger, even though he wasn’t whining or whimpering. His handler, Christopher Magallon applied numerous trauma kits to stanch the flow of blood. As Ice bled through his bandages, the team worried for his life. Three officers took turns carrying Ice down to the road, moving as quickly as possible without exacerbating his wounds. The California Highway Patrol dispatched a helicopter since the team was in such a remote location and rushed Ice to the VCA Asher Animal Hospital in Redding.
There, a team of veterinarians and veterinarian nurses jumped into action, saving Ice’s life. If the team had acted any slower, “Ice would probably be gone,” according to Dr. Dennis Grummitt. After the operation, Ice made a full recovery and returned to duty.
In 2017, Ice was honored as American Humane’s Law Enforcement Hero Dog, a well-deserved honor. The search is underway for this year’s top dog and voting on the final round of this year’s contestants is open. To learn more, and participate in the second round of voting, visit www.HeroDogAwards.org.