By Donna Willis & Jason Mays
Photo Credit: New Albany police. New Albany’s first K-9 officer is killed after an automatic K-9 door opens unexpectedly and the police dog jumps into oncoming traffic.
New Albany Police Mourning Loss Of 1st K-9
NEW ALBANY, Ohio —
NEW ALBANY, Ohio — New Albany’s first K-9 officer is killed after an automatic K-9 door opens unexpectedly and the police dog jumps into oncoming traffic.
Officer Bungee, 3, was in a K-9 cruiser with his handler and partner, Officer Joel Strahler, traveling on U.S. Route 62 near Yantis Drive at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The K-9 door opened, and Bungee jumped into oncoming traffic. A vehicle hit Bungee who was later pronounced dead at a local vet office.
“K-9 vehicles have automatic door openers installed so that doors can be opened remotely in case the dog needs to come to its handler’s aid,” said Sergeant Greg Jones. “Police dogs are trained to immediately leave the vehicle and get to work once the vehicle door opens.”
Jones said the department doesn’t know why it opened but there is an investigation into whether there was a malfunction with the door.
Bungee lived with Strahler and his partner’s family.
“Bungee was like the family pet to the Strahler family. He just happened to go to work every day with his master. That’s standard procedure with police K-9s,” Jones said.
The department told NBC4 it’s too early to tell whether K-9 Bungee will be replaced.
“Bungee was a huge asset in the field with his drug training, and he was a very friendly dog. He was a fantastic community outreach tool with various school programs,” Jones said. “But Bungee was also made possible through a grant, and this is a pretty emotional time for our only trained K-9 officer …”
K-9 Bungee was New Albany police’s first police dog and started with the department in August 2010.
Read more: NBC4i