An undated photo of retired Metro K-9 Mickey and his handler, Mel English. (Source: Facebook)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
A recently retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police dog died Tuesday morning following a bee attack.
Police said the dog, Mickey, was attacked by a swarm about 5:46 a.m. at the home of his handler.
Three other K-9s, two active and one retired, were also attacked and are currently being treated by a veterinarian.
Mickey's handler, Mel English, said the bond between an officer and his or her K-9 is difficult to explain, even to dog lovers. Officers spend 40 hours a week working with the animals and the rest of their time bonding with them at home.
"My best friend in the world is my wife. I actually saw Mickey [more than I saw] her," English said.
English described the attack as something straight out of a horror movie.
"I would describe it as a diesel motor when it puffs black smoke. I could hear the hum. They came at me and attacked me," he said.
English was stung at least 30 times as he pulled Mickey, a 12-year-old Belgian Malinois, and the three other K-9s from the swarm. It was an act that Metro Lt. John Pelletiere called heroic.
"Mel actually had to take his arm and scrape hundreds of bees off each and every dog," Pelletiere said.
English's family and fellow officers helped him rush the dogs to an animal hospital.
English said Mickey saved his life, keeping him away from an armed suspect.
"Every day I went on the street and used Mickey in the capacity he was trained [for]. [That was a day] I look back on and am extremely grateful for," English said.
English said he and the dogs that survived the attack are sore but will be OK. He won't take the K-9s back to his house until a pest control company makes sure the bees are gone for good.
English's family and other K-9 officers will hold a private funeral for Mickey.
Mickey was hired by the department in 2005 and retired in March.
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