Lithonia K-9 found with fatal gunshot wound after search

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Missing Lithonia K-9 found shot, put down, police say

A K-9 officer with the Lithonia Police Department was found with a fatal gunshot wound early Monday morning after escaping from his home hours earlier, officials said.

K-9 Perro, a 12-year-old Belgian Malinois, was found by DeKalb County Animal Control with a serious gunshot wound, Lithonia police Chief Donald Dejarnette said. Perro’s wound was so severe that an emergency decision was made to put the K-9 officer down.

“Perro will be missed dearly, not only within the department but throughout the community,” Dejarnette said.

Perro went missing Sunday around 2:30 p.m. when his handler, Maj. J. Patterson, found a broken board in his backyard fence, Channel 2 Action News reported. Perro was last seen in the area of Flakes Mill Road, but police do not know where the K-9 was shot. Dejarnette said there were no calls about nuisance dogs or dogs being shot while Perro was missing.

Dejarnette thanked Lithonia city volunteers, DeKalb County police and Henry County police for their help in the search.

“At this time we would ask for privacy for our K-9 handler Maj. Patterson and his family as they grieve not only for the loss of Maj. Patterson’s partner but a true friend and family member,” Dejarnette said. “The Lithonia Police Department will have details of Officer Perro’s passing as well as service arrangements in the coming days.”

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