A Richmond police dog that was shot after unexpectedly attacking an officer Tuesday morning in the department's parking lot will not be returning to service, according to police.
The officer who was injured underwent surgery and has been released from the hospital, Richmond police Sgt. Nicole Abetkov said Wednesday.
Abetkov said the officer expects he will be able to return to work following a period of recovery. The dog is being treated at the University of California at Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and will be retired upon being released, she said.
Investigators still do not know how the dog got loose when the officer walked into the department's secured parking lot around 6:45 a.m. Tuesday.
"We still don't know how the dog got out of the car," Abetkov said.
When the dog spotted the officer, Abetkov said she could only surmise it went into "protection, prey mode."
"Just like a dog in a yard, the car to them is like their backyard," Abetkov said. "When they get out of their car, especially if the handler is not around, they automatically go into their natural instinct to protect whatever is theirs."
The dog bit the officer and Abetkov said the officer, in defending himself, shot the dog.