Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Truth About Brutus


The K9 Above is Brutus, a military K9 at McChord. He's huge - part Boxer and part British Bull Mastiff and tops the scales at 200 lbs. His handler took the picture. Brutus is running toward me because he knows I have some Milk Bone treats, so he's slobbering away! I had to duck around a tree just before he got to me in case he couldn't stop, but he did.

Brutus won the Congressional Medal of Honor last year from his tour in Iraq . His handler and four other soldiers were taken hostage by insurgents. Brutus and his handler communicate by sign language and he gave Brutus the signal that meant 'go away but come back and find me'. The Iraqis paid no attention to Brutus. He came back later and quietly tore the throat out of one guard at one door and another guard at another door. He then jumped against one of the doors repeatedly (the guys were being held in an old warehouse) until it opened. He went in and untied his handler and they all escaped. He's the first K9 to receive this honor.

If he knows you're ok, he's a big old lug and wants to sit in your lap. Enjoys the company of cats.

So that's the story that came with the picture. And I like that story! Too bad it isn't true. Here's the real story:

The dog's name is not Brutus; in fact, his name is 'Spike," and he was never a military working dog. Spike is a retired Police Service Dog who served honorably during the years 2001 to 2007 with the Scottsdale Police Department's K-9 Unit in Scottsdale, Arizona, under his handler, Officer Scott DiIullo (who is still with the K-9 Unit and working with a new K-9 partner).

Spike is a Belgian Malinois imported from Europe and weighs less than 100 pounds. Furthermore, police and military working dogs are NOT trained to fatally attack a subject they are deployed upon. Dogs used for handler protection are trained to bite and hold the subject until the subject is taken into custody. There is also no training method to teach a working dog to understand a hand signal to command the dog to leave the area, come back later, and then attack.

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