A Canterbury police dog received a life-saving blood transfusion after being stabbed on the job.
Four-year-old Kosmo sustained a four centimetre cut to the throat that just missed his carotid artery while responding to a family harm incident in Kaiapoi at 6:30 pm on Thursday night.
He was flown to the 24-hour-vet and received a blood transfusion from a fellow K9 dog.
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He is being monitored by a police vet and may undergo further surgery to check for internal damage.
Dog handler Constable Regan Turner said he was tracking an alleged offender through a rural property when Kosmo was deployed.
"I knew when I got to the area and couldn't find him that something had happened.
"He doesn't run away from me. I knew he was lying somewhere, it was just a matter of getting to him," he says.
It took 20-25 minutes to eventually locate Kosmo and give first aid.
"Kosmo had lost a lot of blood, I thought he was a goner," Constable Turner says.
"The cut was to his jugular - he's very lucky to be alive.
"Kosmo's saved me on a few occasions and I can't thank him enough for what he did last night.
"It was either him or me, unfortunately."
A 29-year-old Christchurch man was arrested at the scene and is due to appear in Christchurch District Court on Friday on a number of charges.