A retired Long Beach police dog was euthanized following injuries it sustained when it attacked a man who fed it water in Riverside County Sunday night.
The 20-year-old man was treated for serious but non-life threatening injuries after he was attacked in Eastvale by the German shepherd.
According to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services, the man spotted the dog wandering loose just before 11:00PM Sunday and brought it a bowl of water on Ruby Giant Court, near Prairie Smoke Road.
After drinking the water, the dog put its front paws on the man’s chest and attacked him, biting his left bicep area, his left leg and ankle, then dragging him into the street, according to Animal Services. Relatives and friends of the man had to resort to stabbing the dog with steak knives after failed attempts to release it by punching and kicking it, a statement said.
The bitten man was transported by an ambulance to the Corona Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for his injuries, said John Welsh of Animal Services. Authorities have not released his name.
The German shepherd was spotted lying on a nearby lawn after the attack by Animal Control Officer Bill Luna, who said he approached it and the dog “sat to attention.” Luna extended his control stick and looped the end of it around the wounded dog’s neck.
“I walked him to my truck and, with one command, the dog, despite its injuries, leaped into one of my truck compartments,” Luna said. “That dog must have recognized me and the uniform as someone of authority. He didn’t show any aggression toward me at all.”
The animal was taken to an emergency veterinary hospital but later euthanized due to the severity of its wounds.
Animal control officers said a microchip embedded in the dog was then discovered. Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) spokeswoman Nancy Pratt confirmed the dog worked for the police department but did not know when it retired, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported.
A police dog is typically adopted by the officer who was its handler. The department severs all ties with the animal at that point, Pratt said.
Pratt confirmed in an email to the Post Tuesday afternoon that the German Shepherd, named Thor, joined the LBPD in 2009 when he was two years old.
She said Thor served the department until he was retired in April 2016 due to age and medical issues.
"Thor was privately adopted by a LBPD officer (not his former handler), and no longer affiliated with the LBPD," Pratt said.
City News Service contributed to this report.
This story was updated at 1:23PM with more information on the police dog provided to the Post by LBPD PIO Nancy Pratt.