CARY, NC. (WNCN) — Dakota, Cary police’s first female K-9 on the force, has returned home after she was hit by a truck in the line of duty.
She was hit and injured by a vehicle following the armed robbery of a vehicle on July 21.
Investigators said after taking a truck for a test drive from a Hendrick Dealership on US 64 in Cary, a man identified as Joshua Andrei Whittlesey ordered the salesman out of the truck at gunpoint and took off.
A chase went into Raleigh and back to Cary, eventually ending up at a Cary convenience store. Police say when officers approached the truck, Whittlesey drove off again.
Officers scrambled to get out of the way, and Dakota’s handler, Officer Michael Herrell tried to get her out of the truck’s path, but it hit her.
“She was putting her life in front of Mike, so that tells you right there where she’s at,” Sgt. Seth Everett, the sergeant of the K-9 unit, previously told CBS 17.
On Friday, Police Chief Terry Sult released a statement and photos of Dakota, welcoming her back home.
“We want to take a moment to express our deepest gratitude for your incredible support during this challenging time. Your well wishes, messages, and generous donations have not only touched our hearts but have made a tremendous impact on the Herrell family, our beloved K-9 Dakota, and our entire department,” Chief Sult said.
Thanks to the support of Blue Pearl Animal Hospital and the North Carolina State University Veterinary Hospital, Sult said Dakota is continuing to receive the best possible care and treatment, helping her on the journey to recovery.
“Your gifts and well wishes have not only aided in Dakota’s recovery, but they also allow us to continue our community outreach efforts, spreading awareness about the vital role our canine unit plays in maintaining public safety. In these challenging times, your support has been a beacon of hope and a source of strength for all of us,” Sult added.