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Disobedient: The consequences when police dogs disobey their handlers

10 Investigates uncovered cases across the country of police K-9s not doing as they were told. Sometimes, the results were gruesome.

Jenna Bourne (WTSP), Lauren Powell

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Published: 9:58 AM EST November 17, 2021
Updated: 12:04 PM EST November 17, 2021

Editor's Note: There are images and videos in this story with strong language or graphic content that is not bleeped or blurred. Audience discretion is advised.

This story is the latest installment in our YouTube series, "What's Brewing,” investigative reporter Jenna Bourne's series of deep dives. Click here to check out the series and subscribe to our YouTube channel: The Deeper Dive.

This is a story about police weapons with minds of their own. 

10 Investigates uncovered cases across the country of police K-9s disobeying their handlers, with gruesome consequences. 

They’re trained to bite people and let go on command, but we found these dogs don’t always follow orders. 

“The public trusts us with these animals because we sell this product that says, these are highly trained dogs that will do anything we tell them. But if they don’t listen to us, well then, that’s actually not true,” said Dr. Charlie Mesloh, a leading police K-9 researcher.

No one knows just how often it’s happening because no one is tracking it. 

And the dogs that disobey often wind up right back out in our communities.