Major has always captured the hearts of many with his personal demeanor despite being a strong Police Service Dog. He’s a 9 1/2 year old German Shepherd, and has been a K9 for Roseville PD since June 2003 with his partner John Jorgensen. Major is cross-trained in Patrol work and Narcotics Detection, and has assisted in apprehending over 250 criminals in his career.
Last month I had the honor of photographing Major and his partner, John, during his routine physical therapy at the U of M rehabilitation clinic. In Nov. 2010, K9 Major was stabbed 4 times with a butterfly knife while apprehending a burglary suspect. Vets at the U of M were able to save him despite massive blood loss, a collapsed lung and other injuries. Major has lost the use of his back legs as a result of the stabbing.
After Major’s injuries, MN K9 handlers have proposed legislation to increase penalties for offenders who harm Public Safety Dogs. K9 Major recently received his “wheels” to help him get around and is slowly adjusting to not being a Police Dog anymore. Major is resting at home with his family, trying to enjoy his well earned retirement. He has received numerous awards including recently being inducted into the MN Animal Hall of Fame after receiving the “Animal Hero Award” in February.
John and Major plan on visiting wheelchair bound children in the future at various hospitals and clinics. I’m very much looking forward to photographing the “retiree” running around with his new wheels this summer!