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Police dog was chasing a suspect — until he ran into a porcupine, Oregon deputies say

Coos County deputies said K9 Odin was chasing an Oregon man wanted on felony warrants near Barview when a porcupine stuck the dog with more than 200 quills, ending the pursuit and requiring a trip to the vet.
Coos County deputies said K9 Odin was chasing an Oregon man wanted on felony warrants near Barview when a porcupine stuck the dog with more than 200 quills, ending the pursuit and requiring a trip to the vet. Coos County Sheriff's Office

An Oregon man wanted on felony warrants can thank a porcupine for his getaway during a pursuit over the weekend, local authorities said.

A Coos County Sheriff’s Office K9 officer named Odin had been chasing 29-year-old Devin J. Wilson of Coos Bay for some time Saturday night when the dog ran into a porcupine — and was struck with more than 200 of its quills, deputies said in a news release Monday.

The pursuit began around 6 p.m. when a deputy spotted Wilson in the area of Barview near the Oregon coast and realized Wilson was wanted on several warrants, deputies said.

A few of the quills were embedded inside the dog’s mouth, some near his eye and many on his face, deputies said. Photos posted by the Sheriff’s Office show the quills all around the dog’s mouth as well as several on his legs.

The porcupine encounter ended the chase. Odin was rushed to Hansen-Meekins Animal Hospital, where he was sedated and received hours of care, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies are still looking for Wilson and said he “has committed new crimes and still has outstanding warrants.”

The Sheriff’s Office thanked the staff at the animal hospital for “their dedication and professional care” and also thanked the public for “the outpouring of support.”

Deputies said the dog is now resting, while the porcupine “remains at large,” KPTV reports.

“Odin is doing very well and is recovering at home,” Capt. Gabriel Fabrizio said, according to KCBY. “He will have a follow-up check in one week to ensure there are no issues with his left eye, which was barely missed by some quills, but appears OK at this time.”

The North American porcupine is armed with roughly 30,000 quills, “which are actually large, stiff hairs that help defend the animals against natural predators,” according to a 2012 piece in Science magazine. The story covered a study that found the rodent’s quills — each with 700 to 800 tiny barbs — can pierce skin with half the force that hypodermic needles require.

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