PORTLAND -- A K-9 whose human partner was shot and wounded early Wednesday morning in Southwest Portland was found dead from gunshot wounds after a widespread search involving police, bloodhounds, area residents and even TriMet bus drivers.
The dog, named Mick, was found under a hedge in a neighborhood near where the shooting took place. Police said he had been shot to death.
"Mick saved my life," said the dog's partner, Portland Police Officer Jeff Dorn.
The German Shepherd vanished after the officer-involved shooting, according to Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson. The dog had been wearing a specialized K-9 police harness, but not a bullet-proof vest.
"The dog was doing its job. It was out in the community and it was tragic it was shot," said Portland Police Chief Mike Reese.
Officers said Mick was very new to the force, having officially passed his state certification less than a month ago.
"For us, this is like losing a police officer," Sgt. Simpson said. "This is like losing a member of our family because they are out there risking their lives every day too, risking their lives for their handlers."
Dorn was shot in both legs by the 20-year-old suspect and was recovering at Legacy Emanuel Hospital Wednesday afternoon. He is a 16-year veteran of the Bureau.
Dorn said he and his family were thankful for the outpouring of support from fellow officers and the community.
"I'm very grateful that Officer Dorn will recover from his injuries and saddened that we lost one of our K-9 partners," Reese said.
Reese added that the officers and their K-9 partners "are very close" and it's always difficult when one of these dogs is killed in the line of duty.
"It's a difficult day for the Bureau," Simpson said.
Portland police held a procession for the fallen K-9 from the shooting scene to a Southeast Portland veterinarian's office when the dog was found just after 11 a.m. Wednesday.
On the Portland police K-9 Unit's Facebook page, a recent post about Dorn and Mick's accomplishments became an impromptu place for community members to share their condolences.
Mick was one of ten K-9 units in the Portland Police Bureau. The dogs go through 400 hours of specialized training before becoming part of a K-9 team. They cost around $10,000 each.
Anyone who would like to donate to the Portland police K-9 unit can send donations to:
Portland Police Bureau K-9 Unit
4735 East Burnside Street
Portland, Oregon 97215