At home, with his family, Sam is called Samuel, Samson, Slam. But after singlehandedly taking down two suspects in the kidnapping and torture of a woman on March 29 of this year — "K-9 Sam" is called a hero.
Sam is one of eight K-9s working in San Bernardino’s California Highway Patrol's K-9 unit. He’s teamed up with his human partner, Officer EJ Murphy. When they got the distress call last spring of a dangerous chase in Hesperia — they sprang into action. Once the fleeing car came to a stop, the two suspects inside the vehicle fled on foot. Officer Murphy found the suspects hiding in the bushes. The CHP said that repeated efforts to get the pair to give themselves up were ignored. As a last resort, they sent in K-9 Sam.
What followed was terrifying. According to officers, the female suspect first tased the dog to get him to stop. When that failed, she violently stabbed him multiple times, narrowly missing his aorta. Despite his life-threatening injuries, Sam stood at his post until the two suspects were arrested. Then the wounded dog was airlifted for emergency treatment and given first aid by a medic in the chopper to stop the bleeding which helped save his life.
On the ground at Inland Valley Veterinary Specialists — an urgent care center in Upland — Sam was stabilized and wheeled into surgery for two hours. There were dozens of skin staples. Miraculously, Sam was saved. And in less than six months was back on the job with the CHP Inland Division. His surgeon Dr. Troster spoke to FOX 11 Tuesday where he applauded his four-legged patient for his toughness.
Sam returned to work in September. But on Tuesday, the CHP formally thanked the medical team that saved K-9 Sam’s life. There was a plaque and warm speeches. Sam seemed undaunted by the proceedings.
That female suspect is now serving time in state prison for her crimes. The male goes to court Wednesday. As for Sam? He enjoys time with Officer Murphy and his family when not working.
Murphy told FOX 11 Tuesday, "He (Sam) is more of a pet than a police dog. But he knows when we put on his collar and get into the patrol car, it’s time to go to work."
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