Several members of the Grand Rapids Police Department and other area K9 unit personnel gathered in the parking lot of Animal Emergency Hospital Wednesday, Nov. 15 to welcome GRPD K9, “Eli.” Bandages and stitched up, the dog who was injured in the line of duty on Nov. 13 emerged from the facility on his own four paws just after 4 p.m. Eli was treated for multiple stab wounds and a punctured lung he received when he was stabbed by a suspect during a barricade incident on NW Leonard St.
Eli will continue his recovery at home with his human partner, Officer Justin Kribs, and family. It is too soon to know if he will be physically and mentally able to return to service. If he is not able to return to duty, he will retire under the usual procedures. Ownership will transfer from the City of Grand Rapids to Officer Kribs and Eli will live with his family as a beloved pet.
“On behalf of Officer Kribs, the K9 Unit, and all the men and women of the Grand Rapids Police Department, I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support, prayers, and well wishes. We received hundreds of messages from the community, other law enforcement agencies, and K9 support organizations across the country,” said Chief Eric Winstrom. “We are extremely grateful to the veterinarians and staff of the Animal Emergency Hospital for their expertise and care. With the severity of his injuries and the significant blood loss he experienced, it is truly a miracle they were able to save Eli.”