Dogs are known to be the most loyal creatures that have ever entered people’s lives. They are friendly and make awesome pets. Besides that, many dogs are trained to be service dogs and make people’s lives easier, as well as military dogs who put their life on the line just to protect us. Such a brave dog was Belgian Malinois K-9 Harlej.
Harlej and his handler, officer Jarred Koopman were part of the K-9 unit of the police department of Fishers, Indiana. One day, they were asked to help in the active manhunt of an armed and drunk suspect who was chased by the police.
When the suspect, Richard Garrett Jr. noticed the cops got too close to his vehicle, he got out and started running towards the woods. Harlej and Jarred rushed after him. When they got near him, the suspect refused to surrender and officer Jarred was forced to unleash Harlej who continued running after the teen suspect.
Jarred lost sight of his dog and the suspect but was convinced Harlej would get to the teen. Then, he heard a gunshot and froze. He feared Harlej could be killed. Sadly, after a couple of hours later, the dog’s body was found in the woods. The suspect was also there as he couldn’t continue running because Harlej bit his leg before he shot him.
“It is my belief he saved lives last night, and we’re thankful for his sacrifice,” department Chief Ed Gebhart said in a statement, referring to Harlej as a hero. As the story of Harlej’s heroic actions spread around the community, a great number of people sent flowers and notes expressing gratitude to the police department Harlej was a part of.
Rest in Peace, Harlej! Thank you for your sacrifice!