Kato, Kent Police K-9 who survived stabbing, dies

Photo of Kato from the Kent Police Department.

KENT, Wash. — A K-9 who served with the Kent Police Department from 2012 to 2017 has died.

Police said Kato, 9, died as the result of a ruptured tumor earlier this month.

Early in his career, police said Kato was stabbed by a felon in Des Moines but made a full recovery and was back on the street within weeks.

Police said Kato also played a vital role in tracking down a suspect who assaulted an officer.

"What resulted was a prolific shootout, when the suspect opened fire on the officers. The gunfire was halted by a propane tank explosion," a spokesperson for the police department wrote in a news release.

Police said what surprised them most was how many close calls Kato survived in his career and joked that he had "9 lives."

In addition to his prolific career, police said Kato did regular visits at elementary schools and was great with kids.

"His family is thankful for his unrelenting loyalty, guardianship and devotion. Not just to them, but his Kent Police family and the community as a whole that he served so readily," police said.

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