Crime-fighting dog back on the job - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

Crime-fighting dog back on the job

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MACON COUNTY - The Macon County Sheriff's Office crime-fighting dog named Athos was off the job for a week after running into a squad car during a chase.  The three-year-old canine suffered a missing tooth and two chipped teeth about a month ago.

It happened when police spotted a suspect with a warrant on the streets.  He fled and Athos was set loose.  While chasing the suspect, Athos ran at full speed into a squad car.  He was knocked out for a bit and didn't continue the chase.  Deputy Joe Mannix said had he been released one second earlier, Athos could have suffered a broken neck or been run over.

Police caught the suspect, and thanks to Athos, they found a gun the suspect hid in a bush.

"Their noses are the most vital part of the canine unit itself. Uh, they've helped us locate items and people that, that we could have never located without them," Deputy Mannix said.

Athos is one of two Macon County crime-fighting dogs. He's been with the sheriff's office for a little over a year.

"These dogs are a part of, they're just another tool in our tool belt, uh, they're not pets. We try not to get attached to them," he said.  "He's doing his job. If he would have paid the ultimate sacrifice, you know he was doing his job. You know unfortunately things like that happen."

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