K9 Chance of the Anderson Police Department was honored Tuesday for his bravery literally under fire.
Chance, with his handler — officer Tyler Finch — standing by his side, received the city’s Medal of Valor award during the Anderson City Council meeting. Police Chief Michael Johnson spoke during the ceremony as other officers and the audience looked on.
The council bestowed the honor for Chance’s role in apprehending a 25-year-old man suspected of stealing a car, ramming an officer’s patrol car during a pursuit and then shooting in the direction of police officers on Dec. 29, 2018.
That bullet from the .38 Detective Special Colt revolver struck Chance in the left ear early that morning near the Anderson Creek Bridge. The Belgian Malinois was sidelined for a week as he recovered from a stitched-up ear and swelling to his head.
“Had it not been for K9 Chance, this situation would have most likely of resulted in the loss of human life,” Anderson police said on its Facebook page.
Police said even though Chance suffered the bullet to the ear, he still chased and took down the suspect, Dillion James Sullivan of Paradise.
“K9 Chance was undeterred from the bullet wound and continued to pursue and apprehend Sullivan,” police said.
Sullivan pummeled Chance on his upper body and head with either his fists or the handgun, police said at the time. Chance didn’t release his grasp on Sullivan until the officers, including Finch, were able to subdue the man and put him into handcuffs.
Sullivan has a tentative date for a preliminary hearing in Shasta County Superior Court on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the police department is holding a fundraiser for its three-dog K9 unit. K9 stuffed animals of Chance, Aero, and Iro measuring 6 to 7 inches tall are for sale in the department’s lobby for $20 each or all three for $50.
This is the second time the department has sold the figures, APD records supervisor Debby Beckman said.
“They go fast,” she said.
The department sold out of the K9 figures within a couple of months the last time they went on sale, which was during Christmas.
The last time, Aero was the most popular seller, likely because of his recovery from sickness.
“Now Chance is the hero,” Beckman said, and his figure could prove to be the new favorite.
Money raised from the sales will go toward food, medicine, training, and other K9 related items.
Another K9 fundraiser is planned July 13 at the Shasta District Fairgrounds. The department will provide more details on that event later.