CANTON -- A police K9 is recovering after being shot by a suspect during a burglary call overnight Saturday.
According to police, officers responded to Fisher Foods, 1272 Harrison Ave. SW around 1:13 a.m. for a burglary alarm activation call.
Officers and a K9 confronted a suspect inside the store. The K9 named Jethro approached the suspect, who fired several shots and struck the dog. Officers returned fire and the suspect fled store, firing at officers several times.
The suspect was later found hiding in a yard near the store. He suffered a single gunshot wound to the leg and was taken to Aultman Hospital for treatment. His injuries are considered non-life-threatening.
Jethro was taken to Stark County Veterinary Emergency Clinic for treatment. He was shot three times, according to officials. Police say Jethro's condition is better than expected, though he is "not out of the woods yet."
Vet staff are concerned about the potential for severe brain damage. Jethro had surgery where internal bleeding has been fixed, but swelling on the brain is still active.
There has been a huge response by dog lovers and the local police community. Many officers have visited the hospital Saturday afternoon and evening to offer support to Jethro following his surgery.
The blogger for Doggies.com, Beth Philley, has started a Go Fund Me account to help pay for Jethro's vet care. Plus to purchase more modern bullet proof vests for the entire Canton K9 force. The campaign is located here: gofundme.com/h8xbvs8s.
Police are continuing investigation of the incident.