Robby, a 3-1/2-year-old Belgian malinois, was thrown off the force just two days before he was scheduled to make his debut as a crime-fighting dog because he bit an 8-year-old Poulsbo boy.
So instead of becoming the newest member of the Washington State Patrol’s bomb squad, Robby was booted out, tail between his legs.
A news conference scheduled to announce the addition of Robby and Nico, his 2-year-old German shepherd partner, was canceled.
The patrol intended to use the dogs to help search for explosive devices on Washington State Ferries when bomb threats are called in.
Robby and Nico had just completed 204 hours of training in Texas at the Global Training Academy, said Capt. Marshall Pugh, a spokesman for the State Patrol.
As Robby was being transferred from the car kennel to a backyard dog run at his handler’s Poulsbo house on Monday, he suddenly went after the boy. According to Pugh, the boy was not provoking or playing with the dog when he was attacked.
“It’s so mysterious,” Pugh said. “It didn’t follow the handler’s commands.”
The boy was sent to the hospital with puncture wounds and was released a few hours later.
Robby will not be put to sleep, but has been placed in an animal shelter while the patrol decides what to do.
Pugh said the patrol plans to train Nico, Robby’s replacement and their handlers for another 190 hours before they are placed on duty.
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