El Cajon police K9 Jester was stabbed on June 1, 2022, as he apprehended a suspect who had slashed tires with a butcher knife and was uncooperative.
When officers arrived on the scene, the man had punctured 25 tires, wouldn’t drop the knife, charged toward an officer, and then took off running toward a nearby middle school.
Officers fired foam projectiles that hit the suspect but didn’t take him down. Jester was released and, during the apprehension, was stabbed in the head behind his ear.
Jester, a 9-year-old Belgian Malinois, was rushed to an emergency animal hospital and underwent surgery for his injuries.
Jester’s stab wound was treated without complications, and he was released the following day in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery.
But the story doesn’t end here.
As Jester was recovering from surgery, his handler, Sgt. Murphy and another handler noticed a pair of 2 ½-year-old German Shepherds being treated for rattlesnake bites, and one of them was in pretty bad shape.
“All the different things that come with a rattlesnake bite. The owners weren’t sure they would be able to pay for everything. We looked at each other without even thinking and said that we would cover the costs of the second dog,” said Sgt. Murphy.
The El Cajon Canine Officers Association, which usually covers medical costs for retired police dogs, decided to cover Samson’s $1,300 bill.
“Knowing that these people are making a hard choice, of maybe not doing all the services … We wanted to take the hard decision away from them, just like we do for our officers here,” said Murphy.
El Cajon Police Department posted the following on their Instagram account.
Sampson’s owner, Margaret Hodges, expressed gratitude for the generous deed in a Facebook post:
“Thank You, El Cajon Police Department K-9 Unit!
Wednesday morning, two of my dogs were bitten by a 5 ft rattlesnake. Sampson was bitten severely while protecting his litter mate, Vala. Her bite was less severe. I rushed them to Pet Emergency Center in La Mesa. Both were given anti-venom injections and were left there for observation noting that the Emergency Team was really concerned about Sampson and the extra treatment he would need.
As it happened, Sgt. Michael Murphy of the El Cajon PD K-9 Unit and other El Cajon PD Officers were at the Pet Emergency Center with K9 Officer Jester. Jester had just been stabbed. While Jester was being treated, the El Cajon PD Officers saw Sampson and wanted to help.
Around 6 p.m., I received a call from the Emergency Center. Vala was going to be fine. Sampson would require another anti-venom injection and further monitoring. The vet said don’t worry about the cost for this, it’s been taken care of!
I could not believe it. What kindness and a blessing from the El Cajon Police Department K-9 Unit for contributing to helping Sampson get well. The El Cajon Police Department K-9 Unit truly shows it is committed not only to their animal’s welfare but to the public’s animals as well!
This kindness is such a positive reflection on the El Cajon Police Department. Sgt. Murphy even called me the next day to check up on Samson! Both dogs are home. Vala is doing extremely well. Sampson is slowly improving but has a long way to go.”
Sgt. Murphy summed up the generous gesture by saying, “I believe everything happens for a reason. We were there for a bad reason with Jester getting hurt but knowing that Jester was going to be alright, I wanted to make sure that family knew that both their dogs were going to make it and have that same feeling that we did.”
Join us in sending healing vibes for a full and speedy recovery to K9 Jester, Samson, and Vala.
h/t CBS 8 News