Riots in London: Police Canine Unit Takes Hit

Five dogs have been hurt, including one with a severe head injury.

ByABC News
August 8, 2011, 10:30 PM

Aug. 9, 2011 — -- Riots spreading across the U.K. are not only taking a toll on London's police, the canine unit has taken a hit as dogs and their handlers have been attacked with "bricks, bottles, wood and other missiles," according to a statement from the Metropolitan Police.

On Tuesday, London police -- popularly known as Scotland Yard -- said that 111 officers have been injured in the violence, as well as five police dogs.

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Linpol Luke, aka "Obi," suffered a severe head injury Sunday from a thrown brick. Marshfield Mia also was injured that day after being hit by a thrown bottle.

And Monday, three police dogs -- Minstrel Blaze, Quirk Ruby and Zach -- suffered broken teeth and cuts from thrown missiles.

"The level of violence directed against our officers as they have bravely done their duty to keep London safe is unprecedented. We have over 50 officers who have needed treatment -- some may even require surgery. Our dog units and mounted section have faced tough conditions and some have suffered injuries also," deputy assistant commissioner Steve Kavanagh said in the statement Tuesday.

"We are now undertaking an operation to identify those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will not tolerate this dangerous behavior," he said.

The wave of rioting in its third night was sparked by the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old father in North London Thursday. Police have said the man shot at them first. Angry protesters demonstrated against the death Saturday and the march soon degenerated into chaos.