Police K-9 shot in eye, released from animal hospital

A DeKalb County police dog that was shot in the head while hunting down a suspect accused of shooting and killing a DeKalb officer has been released from a veterinary hospital, police said.

K-9 officer Indi, 7, lost his right eye after being shot above his right ear Thursday afternoon, DeKalb County police said in a news release Sunday.

Brandon Taylor is accused of shooting Indi after shooting and killing Officer Edgar Flores, 24, following a traffic stop, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Taylor was shot and killed by responding officers after he shot Indi.

Indi was removed from the scene by his handler, Officer Norman Larsen, and was taken to the Blue Pearl Emergency Pet Hospital in Sandy Springs, the release said.

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DeKalb Police K-9 Indi has been receiving the most compassionate and professional care anyone could hope from the staff at the Blue Pearl Veterinary Hospital. Indi’s recovery following his surgery progressed extremely well and the expert staff at the hospital felt confident enough in his recovery that it was determined he could be released to go home with his handler just before noon on December 15, 2018. When he exited the hospital to go home with his handler, Police Officer Norman Larsen, they were met by a line of police cars and officers and K9 handlers from the cities of Sandy Springs, Atlanta, Doraville, Brookhaven, East Point and Roswell as well as Cobb County. Officers came to pay their respect to Indi and his handler and wish them a speedy recovery and we as an agency can’t begin to find the words to thank them for their professionalism and support. Indi will continue his recovery at home with the major concern being protecting his wounds from infection. The bigger concern will be keeping Indi from being the very active police canine he seems ready to get back to being until he fully heals. Indi’s return to service will ultimately be his decision. The main concern of the DeKalb Police Department is that Indi recover fully from his injuries. Once the staff at Blue Pearl give him the okay, Indi will be evaluated to see if a return to police work is safe enough for him to do and in everyone’s best interest. Indi has certainly earned his retirement and if police work is no longer an option he will be retired to his handler, so he may live out the remainder of his life as a family member in their home. Please help us express our sincere gratitude to the wonderful staff at the Blue Pearl Animal Hospital. The amazing compassion and unmatched care he received following his injuries are the single reason Indi went home today.

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The incident happened around 5 p.m., so evening commute traffic delayed how quickly Indi could get to the hospital, the release said. Sandy Springs police helped by holding traffic at intersections and clearing roadways to help speed up the critically injured dog’s transport.

DeKalb officers held a vigil for Indi Thursday night at the hospital, which was also attended by K-9 handlers from Sandy Springs, Brookhaven and Doraville, the release said.

Aside from losing his eye, Indi is expected to make a full recovery, the release said. On Friday, DeKalb police Chief James Conroy said Indi could eventually return to duty.

“The dog was very helpful in apprehending and locating the subject in this case,” Conroy said.

Indi has been with the department for five years. In that span, he helped catch a suspect in a brutal home invasion, which was featured on ajc.com in November 2016.

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