INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indiana State Police trooper who says his K-9 partner was shot while saving his life last October is sharing his story for the first time.
ISP K-9 Apache put his life on the line for his partner, Trooper Walter Butt, when shots started flying during a traffic stop near 38th Street and Post Road on October 10.
"He distracted the guy long enough to stop the threat," said Trooper Butts.
Then, Apache was gone.
"I knew in my heart he had been shot," said Trooper Butt. "I know my dog well enough that he wouldn't just run off for anything."
K-9 Apache was missing for more than 12 hours. Twelve hours that Trooper Butt says he will never forget.
"We didn't have any idea.. the unknown of him dying and finding him dead was scary," he said.
And the emotional moments when he finally found his partner are something Trooper Butt will never forget.
"It was about an eight-foot fence, when I come up to it I could see him and we called his name," he said. "He looked and he did a double take. As soon as he did that double take he came running up to me and it was very emotional."
Just three weeks after being shot in the neck, K-9 Apache was back to work.
Apache is also receiving national recognition for his work.
The American Kennel Club awarded ISP K-9 Apache with the 2018 Paw of Courage award.
Watch Trooper Butt and K-9 Apache's emotional story in the video player above.
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