- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 27, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A pet cat died after it was bitten by a Lincoln police dog tracking men suspected of robbing a taxi driver at gunpoint, the city’s police department said.

Assistant Chief Brian Jackson said police officers and the canine were searching for the robbers. The officers lost trail of the suspects and the dog was trying to pick up a scent in the area.

The dog went up to a porch and accidently spooked the cat, which bolted right into the dog, Jackson said.

“The dog did what the dog does,” he said. The dog’s bite broke the cat’s back, and the cat was taken to a private veterinary clinic.

It wasn’t clear if the dog bite is what killed the cat, Jackson said.

The cat’s owner, Dale Wimberly, told the Journal Star (https://bit.ly/1lwnBqf ) that his cat, named Andrew, was “the closest thing I had to family.”

“He’s the best roommate ever,” Wimberly said.

Police told him that his cat was injured, and an officer escorted him through red lights while he drove to the clinic. He said the officer seemed genuinely sorry for what happened.

“All in all, the police have been very nice about it,” he said.

Jackson said police officials reviewed the attack and found no wrongdoing by the dog or the officers.

He said the officer was holding the leash tightly when the canine bit the cat, and that it ignored other animals it encountered earlier while scouting.

“It’s unfortunate,” Jackson said. “It’s unintended.”

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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