LAKELAND, FL — A Florida sheriff’s deputy was seriously injured Monday and a police K-9 was shot after the four-year-old animal attacked the officer for unknown reasons.
The injured deputy, identified as Polk County Master Deputy Scott Billo, was feeding K-9 Recon while his handler was on vacation, according to Carrie Horstman of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. The K-9’s handler was identified as Deputy Garrett Zeigler and the attack took place at Ziegler’s home.
“Master Deputy Billo, who is also a K-9 handler, has been going over every day for about a week to care for Recon,” Horstman said. “This is standard protocol within the K-9 Unit, that one handler take care of another’s dog while the handler is out of town.”
Horstman said police do not know what caused the animal to attack.
“For unknown reasons, last night Recon attacked Master Deputy Billo and he was forced to shoot Recon,” she explained. “Recon died.”
Billo was taken to a local hospital with “significant injuries” to his hand, according to Horstman.
“He underwent surgery today,” she told Patch on Tuesday. “We are hopeful he’s able to fully recover.”