An honor guard of police officers and police dogs welcomed back a dog hurt while helping his handler during a subway brawl last week. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.
"Bear" is getting set to go back on the beat as a member of the New York City Police Department Transit Bureau's K-9 unit. He left the Animal Medical Center Wednesday after repairs to four teeth that were damaged while making an arrest during a subway scuffle.
"I think he had a little bit of damage, but he was a really lucky dog," said Dr. Stephen Riback, a veterinarian.
The 6-year-old German Shepherd cracked two teeth and chipped two others after getting kicked in the mouth while he and his handler, Officer Vincent Tieniber, tried to break up four women who were brawling on a platform at the Lexington Avenue-59th Street station last week.
"He did a good job," Tieniber said.
Tieniber and his partner, a 5-year NYPD veteran, were greeted by several police officers and dogs as they walked out of the animal hospital next to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who marveled at the ties between officer and canine.
"They get the loving attention of their handlers. It's a bond like no other," Kelly said. "A police dog handler and his dog are one, and they're a very important team for us."
Bear still has to get one more titanium crown, but doctors at the animal hospital said he should be ready to go again in a couple of weeks.
Bear hadn't had anything to eat or drink since going under anesthesia on Tuesday night, but Officer Tieniber said he was looking forward to getting his partner home for some well-earned rest and a nice soft meal.
"He'll get some soft foods for a little while to keep any uneasiness off his teeth," Tieniber said. "No, no rawhide for a while."
The Queens woman who cracked Bear in the snout faces several charges, including injuring a police animal and resisting arrest. Two other women were arrested for their part in the subway fight.
Bear, meanwhile, will enjoy a little time off from his job and his newfound celebrity before getting back to work.