Local News

Injured Wake Forest K-9 recovering at home

Posted April 15, 2011 2:38 p.m. EDT
Updated April 15, 2011 10:41 p.m. EDT

— A Wake Forest police canine that was injured three weeks ago while pursuing a probation absconder has been released from a veterinary hospital and is recuperating at home, officials said Friday.

Marcus Antwan Richardson fled from officers trying to serve him with outstanding warrants on March 24. A K-9 handler released his dog, Maverick, to search for Richardson, and another officer coming to help struck the dog with his patrol car.

Maverick's handler, Wake Forrest Officer D. Hess was just a few feet away. 

"He wasn't expected to make it," Hess said. 

Hess said Maverick had collapsed lungs, three fractured ribs, a fractured pelvis and spine and a brain injury. 

The 9-year-old Belgian Malinois had emergency surgery at North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Doctors placed Maverick in a sling that supports his weight and is designed to enable him to stand. Officials said the dog is able to eat and drink on his own.

Over the next several weeks, Maverick is scheduled to undergo extensive rehabilitation with a canine orthopedic specialist that will eventually allow him to stand and walk without support, officials said.

Maverick has been a member of the Wake Forest Police Department since 2004. In 2009, Maverick helped in seizing more than $21,000 dollars in drug money on a traffic stop.

Hess said he believes Maverick will work again before the dog's scheduled retirement in October. 

Bracelets with Maverick's name are being given out in exchange for donations to offset the dog's medical costs. Bracelets can be obtained by emailing Hess at dhess@wakeforestnc.gov.

Richardson, 21, of 1405 Old Knight Road in Knightdale, was charged with felony assault on a police animal, resisting a public officer and second-degree trespassing. He was also served with outstanding warrants for a probation violation and charges of misdemeanor larceny, second-degree trespassing, failure to appear in court and two counts of resisting a public officer.