A champion police dog is on the mend after being slashed with a knife during an Armed Offenders Squad call-out in Porirua.
Five-year-old Ila, a German shepherd, has undergone minor surgery; just weeks before she was due to defend her title as the top dog on the force.
The man who slashed her is also in hospital in a serious, but stable condition.
The 42-year-old Napier resident, who was wanted on drugs charges, stabbed himself and then wounded Ila before being subdued by a Taser.
Police told ONE News the man was staying with a friend, but they had information that he might be dangerous.
Kapiti Mana Area Commander Inspector John Spence, says the alleged offender ran out the back and when he was challenged by a member of the Armed Offenders Squad, he produced a large knife and stabbed himself.
He refused to let go of the knife and gave Ila a deep slash across the top of her nose before he was subdued.
"He's tried to slash her across the face and unfortunately he did get her and we're very lucky that it wasn't the eyes or the nose," says Spence.
Ila's handler, Constable Jason Todd, got a chance to meet his dog after the surgery.
"She's a bit uncomfortable with the anaesthetic at the moment, but she'll be right in a day or two," says Todd.
Todd and Ila will be well-known to viewers of TVNZ's programme Dog Squad.
She is a national police dog champion and due to defend her title in two weeks' time.
Spence says both Ila and her handler are extremely experienced in their roles and often face a high degree of risk to their safety.
"Hopefully she'll be ok & and it'll probably be quite hard to keep her away from them I'd say," says.
"She was very gutsy about dealing with this armed and aggressive man."
The man will face charges, Spence says.