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New Jersey Officer Attacked at Home by K-9 Partner

August 05, 2014  | 

Ventnor (N.J.) Police Officer Jamie Pirchio was recently attacked by her K-9 partner, Niko, causing injury to her legs, arms and hands and requiring same-day surgery.

Pirchio was on medical leave for a prior ACL injury to her knee before the attack and remains off duty. Niko is now in a kennel where he will stay until the department determines whether he can remain on the force, Chief Michael Miller told the Atlantic City Press.

Pirchio was attempting to feed the animal at their Northfield home when it got distracted and turned on her, attacking her legs, arms and hands, Miller said.

She attempted to regain Niko’s attention during the attack by using a toy, as she was taught in their training. Pirchio was able to get the dog back in its cage and run to her neighbor’s house where she screamed for help.

Miller said it isn’t completly uncommon for a K-9 to accidentally bite his handler due to distraction. He referred to the incident as a “perfect storm.”

Comments (18)

Displaying 1 - 18 of 18

Lawman5643 @ 8/5/2014 4:36 PM

I'm glad the handler will be ok, however I've NEVER heard of a dog turning on it's handler for no reason.

Lenny @ 8/5/2014 5:27 PM

I can think of many cops based on their histories who would have no problem
shooting that dog in the head. Why wasn't the dog immediately put down, he
actually attacked someone?

Big G @ 8/5/2014 5:54 PM

I usually do not respond to others comments or get involved in the pissing contest but I have to. "Lenny" you are an idiot and you I can tell by all of the comments you have made on everything that comes up the you, Thank God" have never walked in the shoes of a Real Law Enforcement Officer.

As for this incident, who knows what happened to cause the dog to attack the handler. I worked a K-9 for seven years before I retired my partner and changed departments. During that time, I was bitten by my K-9 partner several times, never to this extent. It was usually due to my error or simply because he was worked up. My partner also bit two officers. One was the other officers fault and the second, who was my brother in law, was my error. I have always said that there are two kinds of K-9 handlers. Those who have been bitten by their dog and Those who will be bitten by their dog.

Capt. Crunch @ 8/5/2014 6:37 PM

Lenny, police officers don't shoot their partners. You should read what Big G, wrote. I am glad the officer will be ok. Lenny, you also should know that Niko, has a higher IQ then you and did more public service as police dog then you ever did or will do in a life time.

Ryan @ 8/5/2014 10:21 PM

I agree Lenny is an idiot & Im assuming he has never worked as a Law Enforcement Officer.

jay @ 8/5/2014 10:57 PM

Lenny not an idiot, he's a jagoff!!!!!
True Blue and Down with Brown

James @ 8/6/2014 4:01 AM

I wonder if the dog was an intact male. Intact males often become confused and aggressive due to hormones they scent in constant close contact. No this isn't a joke it's a huge problem with primates women own as pets, and in other animals it does happen as well. The animal rights insanity has pushed this problem almost underground, but the sheer number of attacks by primates on women who keep them for pets is well known. People forget animals can smell hormones. I looked into the research after an aunt was viciously attacked by her pet monkey, but once again the animal rights mentality often blocks the data on this, and it is hard to find the data but try hard enough and you will find it for those who wish to. As a dog handler trainer since 1975 I have seen aggression between trained and untrained male dogs and women who own them countless times. There is another factor people fail to see or admit to, that women handlers often are not as Alpha male as men are to a male dog. continued.

James @ 8/6/2014 4:09 AM

Continued... The Alpha male situation is fairly well know in the training community. I know this isn't politically correct but is factual. Voice inflection is a very important factor in the animal kingdom where the loudest deepest bark or roar often makes the Alpha male. Trainers who have a high success rate but are reluctant to talk about this due to the medias political correctness. As a trainer voice inflection is very important in training dogs/males who want to be an Alpha. Trainers like myself who have loud and very deep (Bass) voices often have a much easier time training a want to be Alpha male dog. Women trainers lack this advantage. I have even trained male dogs that other male trainers with lighter voices could not handle. Like it or not this is a rule in nature and as we know on the streets often male criminals react to officers with deep loud voices more than those with the Tenor voices. I know there will be some negative reaction but this is a known factor in dog training

James @ 8/6/2014 4:16 AM

Big G has a point, we are talking about dogs and confusion does happen. They are animals not human beings who normally use reason, excluding Lenny of course. We tend to forget animals do not think things through as humans would. But the male animal hormone factor I mentioned in previous posts, was investigated many times throughout history and they came to the same conclusion. Today the political correctness industry has put a stop to releasing this information any more.

Captain Obvious @ 8/6/2014 5:37 AM

Going on 2 years as a handler and based on what little we know from the article I'm going to say A) The Officer should've never been a handler or B) The K9 shouldn't be a Police dog or C) They aren't compatible as a team and she needs a softer dog.

The dog didn't respect her and appears to be the Alpha in this team. Feeding time should be an extension of an obedience exercise. The K9 does what the handler commands (down stay) as the Alpha brings the food. The handler sets the food down and the K9 doesn't move until the handler allows the K9 to come eat.

Feeding a high drive/hot Police K9 should be taken seriously.

Lt Dan @ 8/6/2014 6:38 AM

I looked at the article via the hyperlink expecting to see a Belgian Malinois. You look and decide. A high percentage Belgian Malinois are nut jobs based on my limited interactions with them. The article also showed this is the departments first K9 and they graduated 5/2014. So I think a new handler, sick leave, and a highly aggressive dog was just a bad combination. Interesting how the news article crunched the numbers. Don't destroy the dog, give it to somebody who knows how to handle a chain saw!!!

Chuck @ 8/6/2014 8:37 AM

Leonard, go back and pet your soft furry bunny. You can't even "think" with out trying to bait and insert your own persona bias into the conversation. I truly believe after seeing all of your posts and your prejudicial and biased postings that you are either incarcerated, have formerly been incarcerated, have family that is incarcerated or are a defense attorney. That being said, "I can think of many cops based on their history, that would have a huge problem shooting a dog in the head." The dog wasn't immediately put down for attacking someone because, unlike some humans that thrive on being cruel and get off agitating others; animals, especially trained animals like this police K-9 are not conniving, deceitful and hateful, unlike yourself, Leonard.

eodk9trainer @ 8/6/2014 10:09 AM

There are some real uninformed opinions on here. I'll offer mine as a 28 year K9 trainer and continued SME. (Patrol and detector) And my opinion isn't worth much as I wasn't there and not familiar with the entire situation. But with little information I would go on the assumption the K9 is possibly not cut out for the job. Blaming it on the handler at this point is insane. Every once in awhile a dog will make it through the vetting process and training that should not. Maybe some kind of brain imbalance or so on. I've worked with some of the most bad ass dogs in the profession who never turned on a handler like this. We did have one turn on his handler in his car but luckily the cage was closed. He had to be tranked to be removed from the car. It really is hard to tell at this point but I would lean towards the dog being the issue.

eodk9trainer @ 8/6/2014 10:10 AM

But yes, Lenny is a moron.

Pup @ 8/6/2014 12:00 PM

I wish I had Lenny was the dog. I would have clearly shot him in the head without hesitation. As for the article, I have no idea who taught the handler to use a toy when the K9 aggresses and bites you. If it's a Mal (I've had 3), you have to show you're the Alpha. If it means the body roll,slam, force on force etc., you do what you need to do to first get the dog to stop biting and secondly, to show you're the pack leader. Mals aren't really meant for weak and first time handlers. I hope the handler gets well soon and the K9 is reevaluated to hit the streets. Be safe.

Greg @ 8/7/2014 8:31 AM

I worked with dogs in the Army...there were always a few scary ones who weren't always wired correctly. More than once I had to parachute a dog to protect myself. I love German Sheps and they're the most amazing dogs, especially when under stress. Mali's...kind've sharp but great dogs for a great handler, not so much for a newby.

Chuck @ 8/7/2014 6:32 PM

Sorry Lenny, I meant; go back to our mom's basement. Don't let her see you posting cuss words, she might wash your mouth out with soap.

Ima Leprechaun @ 8/9/2014 8:49 AM

Well someone needs his medication.

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