Indiana State Police trooper on K9 Apache: ‘He took a bullet for me’

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Photo Credit: Trooper Walter Butt, ISP

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. —It’s hard to imagine by looking at him these days that last fall, no one knew if K9 Apache was even alive.

“I was thinking maybe he had been mortally wounded and we wouldn’t find him until it was too late,” said Indiana State Police Trooper Walter Butt.

During a traffic stop near 38th Street and Post Road in October, Butt released Apache after a suspect took off. Apache made contact with the suspect and then bullets starting flying. Next thing the state trooper knew, Apache was gone.

“First thing going through my mind was making sure the suspect was handcuffed, and the scene has been secured. Then my second thought was, 'Where’s my dog and is he OK?' Because I had believed he had been shot.”

For nearly 12 hours, Apache was missing. A massive search unfolded until, miraculously, the K9 officer was found. He had shot in the neck, but he was alive.

“I was fighting back tears. A lot of emotions. I can’t even explain all of them,” Butt explained.

Just three weeks later, Apache returned to work. These days the two doing what they do best, with the future looking bright.

“I probably have a good 9 or ten years of working with him. From that point, who knows what will happen after that?”

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