Retired guard dog stabbed while defending Taylorsville home during burglary attempt

Posted at 9:49 PM, Nov 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-27 23:49:05-05

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah -- We know they’re man’s best friend, and one Taylorsville dog proved his loyalty to his owner while trying to stop home intruders. But the German Shepherd mix nearly died when intruders stabbed him several times.

It Wagner could talk, he might tell you he’s been in a world of hurt.

“He was in shock, it looked like he had an infection in some of his wounds,” Jordan Scherk said of when Wagner was carried into the BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in Midvale.

He had survived a horrific attack, where he was stabbed multiple times in his neck.

Scherk, an emergency and critical care veterinarian, said the dog also suffered significant bruising. Wagner was just doing what he has practiced his whole life to do, as a trained guard dog.

“He was an on-leash canine. We used to do security work together, and he was my sidekick,” owner Randy Price said.

While Wagner doesn’t do that now, his instincts have extended to his home.

“He likes to be outside doing his job, that’s protecting the yard,” Price said.

The blood, and the evidence, still stains the floor after Price said an intruder sneaked into his garage late Friday night.

“They actually came in the side door,” he said. “I never saw the person.”

Instead, Price heard the loud barks of his other German Shepherd.

“I grabbed a flashlight and I grabbed a firearm… and I went out looking,” he said.

The suspect, or suspects, had bailed and Price said it was likely due to his dog’s barking.

But before they took off, he said they stabbed Wagner several times and left him in a pool of his own blood.

“I didn't know if he was alive or if he was dead,” Price said. “My heart was pounding. I really was scared. I kind of went into shock myself.”

He said he went into “life-saving mode,” frantically trying to stop the bleeding on Wagner’s neck. A million thoughts raced through his mind.

“Who did this? Why did they do it?” Price said. “I don't have kids, they are my kids. And so, I was very scared I’m going to lose him… I was scared to death.”

There’s no way to know exactly what Wagner did to protect his home. If only he could talk, he could tell you what happened and who stabbed him.

But the sacrifice he made doing it, is clear.

“Poor guy, he stood his ground with them, he fought it out,” Price said. “I just don't understand, why? Why you could hurt an innocent animal, especially stabbing it?”

He said that police are investigating. They’ll take it from here to find who is responsible, while Wagner focuses on healing.

Wagner doesn’t have much fight left. At 13 years old, this guard dog will someday reach his last watch.

Even at his age, Wagner shows he’s still got it in him to be man’s best friend, and a loyal protector.

And good news for him: the vet said after surgery, Wagner should make a full recovery in a couple weeks.