A police dog was punctured by hundreds of porcupine spikes while tracking a wanted criminal.
By Published on 25 Apr 2019
Odin, a German Shepherd with the Coos County Sheriff’s Office, was helping his handler track a 29-year-old man wanted on several felony charges.
A prickly encounter
But during the pursuit, Odin stumbled upon a porcupine and was struck by more than 200 spikes. Although Odin caught a few on his paws and legs, the majority went into his muzzle, leaving him with a very strange looking beard.
A porcupine’s spikes are released by contact with another animal or when the porcupine shakes its body. It's a self-defence system to protect porcupines from predators, and new spikes start growing back within a few days. The spikes are not poisonous, but they can cause infections if not removed. They're also pretty painful!
Odin's handler called off the search and rushed his four-legged partner to the Hanson-Meekins Animal Hospital in Coos Bay, Oregon.
Odin was sedated, and it took vets over two hours to remove all of the spikes.
The police dog was left with some swelling around the muzzle but was otherwise unharmed by his prickly encounter.
Officers at the Sheriff's department took the opportunity to praise Odin's commitment to his job:
"Odin captures his 80th direct suspect the day prior and when this happened he was closing in on suspect capture 81. The man he was looking for had several felony warrants and had committed new crimes also. Odin is an amazing partner and I feel honoured to be a part of his team every time his paws hit the ground."
Odin is enjoying a well-earned break
Now that's what I call a good boy!
Odin is taking a well-earned break but will be back chasing those bad guys soon enough!