'Sweet' K9 Officer Welcomed Home from Hospital After Getting Shot in the Head: 'He's a Hero'

·2 min read
Police dog shot by Chicago murder suspect released from hospital, expected to make ‘full recovery'
Police dog shot by Chicago murder suspect released from hospital, expected to make ‘full recovery'

Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office

Welcome back, Riggs!

A K9 officer for the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department in Wisconsin has recovered and is being hailed a "hero" after recovering from a gunshot wound sustained while apprehending a suspect tied to several murders in Chicago.

The eight-year-old German shepherd, named Riggs, is back at home, police say, after spending time in the hospital. Riggs was shot in the forehead Thursday while on duty. Following the incident, Riggs was taken to an emergency veterinarian facility in northern Illinois.

"They brought him in, we triage him and they decided we just kind of had to see what was all going on," veterinarian Dr. Taylor Naef told ABC7. "We stabilized him [and] he was a little shaky after taking a bullet to the head."

Police dog shot by Chicago murder suspect released from hospital, expected to make ‘full recovery'
Police dog shot by Chicago murder suspect released from hospital, expected to make ‘full recovery'

Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office

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Following his treatment and recovery, Riggs was able to leave Buffalo Grove Vet Clinic on Sunday. To celebrate, human and K9 officers gathered outside the animal hospital to give Riggs a hard-earned "hero's welcome" as he left the facility.

"We are grateful for the amount of support received by surrounding agencies and the Kenosha County community. Welcome back, Riggs!!!" the department wrote on Facebook alongside photos from the sweet moment. Photos show Riggs getting greeted by a procession of his supporters from the community.

Police dog shot by Chicago murder suspect released from hospital, expected to make ‘full recovery'
Police dog shot by Chicago murder suspect released from hospital, expected to make ‘full recovery'

Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office

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Police dog shot by Chicago murder suspect released from hospital, expected to make ‘full recovery'
Police dog shot by Chicago murder suspect released from hospital, expected to make ‘full recovery'

Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff David Beth recalled the moment Riggs — who has spent five years on the police force — was injured, calling the dog a "hero" for his actions.

"In a lot of ways, he's a hero today because he at least initially took the suspect down, kept him from running onto the Highway 50," he said, NBC Chicago reports. "In my world, Riggs is a hero and possibly saved someone else from being injured."

Police dog shot by Chicago murder suspect released from hospital, expected to make ‘full recovery'
Police dog shot by Chicago murder suspect released from hospital, expected to make ‘full recovery'

Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office

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Riggs and his handler, Deputy Terry Tift, are taking time away from work following Riggs's recovery.

"It has been a rough few days," Tifft told ABC7 before thanking both Riggs and the community.

"He's family, he's always been," he continued. "He's a sweet dog, but he did his job, and he saved my life … The show of support from the community means more to me than you guys will ever know."

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