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.”