A police dog that died during a shootout with a burglary suspect will be laid to rest later this week in Ohio.
Jethro, a member of the Canton Police Department K-9 unit, was shot three times Saturday after officers responded to a burglary alarm at a local business. None of the bullets hit the dog's vital organs, but a shot to the bridge of his muzzle ultimately led to brain swelling, according to a Facebook post that updated the community about his progress.
Jethro died the next day from his injuries, prompting an outpouring of support and sympathy for both the police department and Jethro's handler.
“We’ve had quite a response from the community. It’s impressive,” said Capt. David Kurzinsky, a spokesman for the department.
“Some people may see this as an animal or a tool, but people who love animals or have animals as pets know that you can compare it to losing a family member," Kurzinsky said.
A pet blogger who recently met Jethro set up an online fundraiser to buy bulletproof vests for all the police dogs in the Canton police department. The site raised more than $24,000 within a day after being set up Sunday.
On Monday, the Canton police chief announced that a service had been scheduled Thursday at the city's memorial civic center.
The burglary suspect who shot Jethro now faces several state felony charges, including assault on a police dog, Kurzinsky said.