Law enforcement trainer speaks about dog attacks

Local News

Investigators said Columbus Police K9 officer Brain Carter was attacked by his K9 partner Benzi Saturday morning while he was training the dog.

Mike Pennington is the owner of Storm Dog Tactical. He trains K9s for several law enforcement agencies in central Ohio, but does not train for Columbus Division of Police.

He said when he heard of the situation he was shocked because it is so rare. “It’s a tragic incident for everybody involved,” said Pennington.

He points to a possible reason for it happening.

“The officer was seasoned, the dog, was seasoned this is really a big red flag for potentially something medically that went wrong with the dog.”

Office Carter has been a K9 officer since 2008. Benzi had more than two years with Columbus Police. Pennington said knowing that the bond between them was like family.

“These handlers end up spending more time with their working dog then they do with their family for the simple fact the dog goes to work.”

Investigators said when Officer Carter corrected Benzi’s behavior through verbal commands, the K9 attacked him.

Pennington said it’s not likely that correcting the dog’s behavior would have caused the dog to attack.

“It’s not something out of the ordinary to offer correction or assistance to a dog,” said Pennington. “These dogs are always a work in progress and it’s not that once a student graduates or becomes certified the training’s over with. It occurs every day.”

Now an investigation into this case is underway by the Columbus Police Special Services Bureau. Pennington believes investigators will have to treat this as if it was a fatal crash.

“You would start basically from the scene and then you would have to work backwards to find all the contributing factors that may have led up to the actual incident.”

Pennington added stress on the dog could have played a factor as well.

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