PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) --In dangerous situations, sometimes the first law enforcement officers to charge in are on four legs.
Those police K-9s can also be just as vulnerable to stab and gunshot wounds as their human handlers.
Southern California police officers learned Tuesday how to care for dogs who are injured in the line of duty. The training program at the Rose Bowl involved 25 officers from eight different law-enforcement agencies learning to perform basic treatment for injuries to dogs.
They were also taught how to pull the animals out of dangerous situations.
"Dogs often go in first in a situation and they make sure that it's safe for officers to go in and unfortunately the dogs are in the same danger as the officers," said Dr. Janice Baker, a military veterinarian. "Sometimes they incur serious injury."
The terrorist attacks Tuesday in Brussels only reinforced the local officers' awareness of the need to be ready for any kind of emergency.
"As we can see what's happening across the world ultimately it impacts us here locally as well," said Lt. John Mercado with the Pasadena Police Department. "And for us to be prepared for the kind of events that Europe is dealing with is crucially important."