Late one evening Constable Steve Balice of the Toronto Police Department and his canine partner German Shepherd Lonca were on a routine assignment to guard the backyard of a house while a search warrant was executed.
Suddenly a man came running from the rear of the house with a machete in his hand. He ran toward the officers, swinging wildly. Balice commanded Lonca to stop him.
Lonca, a trained and certified patrol dog, brought him down by gripping his leg. The man continued to wave the machete, striking the dog on the snout, neck, body, and paw while Lonca continued his grip.
After officers finally subdued the man, Lonca was able to stop another suspect from escaping the home.
Lonca was treated for his injuries with stitches and staples. He made a full recovery and was back to work within a week.
The suspect, Phuoc Dang, 56, was charged under the Justice for Animals in Service Act. The act is better known as Quanto’s law, named for an Edmonton police dog who was stabbed to death while chasing a suspect. The law covers guide dogs, service dogs and military dogs.
Although Lonca has no physical scars, according to his partner he seems to have memories of the attack. He seems to be more vigilant during routine assignments.
Or, in other words, he understands as humans do that in law enforcement, death or injury can come at any time during a shift.