His handler, deputy Kory Murphy, was there when his partner Herbie, a four-year-old Belgian Malinois, was injured.
"It gets us pretty emotional; we act like these are anyone standing in tan and green," Murphy said. "We care as much for them as other deputies and the public themselves."
Deputies were responding to a domestic violence call early Sunday morning on the 24300 block of Carmen Lane in Moreno Valley. When the male suspect wouldn't let go of a female, Murphy deployed Herbie to take down the suspect.
MORE: Dramatic video shows suspect trying to choke Moreno Valley K-9 with its own leash
"Once K-9 Herbie deployed, the suspect started violently thrashing," Murphy said. "Hitting him, elbowing him. He physically pulled him off and threw him on the ground at one time."
Murphy said the suspect also tried to choke Herbie. He was eventually taken into custody with minor injuries, arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment, resisting arrest, domestic battery and attempting to injure a police dog.
Herbie was evaluated and treated for a swollen eye, a broken blood vessel in his eye and a laceration on his ear.
Murphy said the support from the community has been incredible. He asks that people who want to help donate to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department's K-9 fund.
"We've gotten emails, phone calls, (people) wanting to drop off dog treats, wanting to meet Herbie," Murphy said. "People call him a goofball. His nickname is a love bug."