Northern Virginia bureau reporter David Culver reports on Kota, the police dog injured on duty earlier this week.
A Winchester, Va. police dog, recovering from an injury, is gaining support from around the world.
Dakota, or "Kota" as his handler Winchester Police Cpl. Brittney Kotynski-Neer calls him, underwent leg surgery after falling through a crawl space earlier this month. Kotynski-Neer responded to a home burglary and Kota tracked down two suspects in the home's crawl space which proved too thin for his weight.
"We heard a loud crash, which subsequently was him falling through the ceiling," Kotynski-Neer said.
She could hear his painful yelps.
"It's hard ... to hear those yelps and not be able to go to them, it's crazy," Kotynski-Neer said.
Despite his injury, Kota managed to hobble back up the stairs to make sure his handler was alright.
"I had turned around and Kota was standing there,” Kotynski-Neer remembered.
After Kotynski-Neer and another officer took the suspects into custody, they carried Kota to a police cruiser and drove him to an animal hospital.
Well-wishes from around the world are helping with the recovery -- a Facebook page posted a few days ago already has more than 20,000 “likes,"
Gifts have arrived as well, including a superhero cape from some local students.
"They were like, ‘every hero needs a cape,’" Kotynski-Neer said. "It really does restore your faith in humanity."
It’s not clear if Kota will recover enough to return to patrol duty.