Police K-9 on the Mend After Falling Through Ceiling - NBC4 Washington

Police K-9 on the Mend After Falling Through Ceiling



    Officer's Best Friend on the Mend After K9 Catastrophe

    Northern Virginia bureau reporter David Culver reports on Kota, the police dog injured on duty earlier this week. (Published Friday, Jan. 10, 2014)

    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.