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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Moses Lake Police Department dog retired after being shot in the line of duty

UPDATED: Wed., April 15, 2020

Moses Lake Police officer Nick Stewart leads Chief,  a K-9 unit dog, out the front doors of the  Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital  on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Pullman. Chief was shot in the head by an armed robbery suspect in Moses Lake and has now been officially retired. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Moses Lake Police officer Nick Stewart leads Chief, a K-9 unit dog, out the front doors of the Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Pullman. Chief was shot in the head by an armed robbery suspect in Moses Lake and has now been officially retired. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

The Moses Lake police dog, Chief, is officially retiring months after getting shot in the eye in the line of duty.

Initially, the police department and Chief’s handler, Nick Stewart, hoped the K-9 unit dog could work again in some capacity.

Chief lost his left eye after a robbery suspect, later identified as Jose Rivera, shot him at close range.

Stewart returned fire and killed Rivera.

Chief was then flown by helicopter to Washington State University’s veterinary hospital.

After the removal of his eye, Chief was observed for just a few days before being escorted home by more than 20 police cars from 11 law enforcement agencies.

More follow-up visits with Chief’s veterinarians led to the decision that he could no longer perform the duties of a patrol dog, the Moses Lake Police Department announced Tuesday.

Instead, Chief will continue to live with Stewart, not as a partner but as a pet.

“His future is bright with couches, treats, and belly rubs,” a police department statement read.

The department plans to hold a formal retirement ceremony for Chief after the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order is lifted and conditions allow.

A Belgian Malinois arrives next week to replace Chief in the police department’s K-9 unit. Stewart and his new partner hope to be on duty together before Memorial Day.

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