(KMOV) – A driver ran over a police dog with an ATV in Collinsville, Illinois and left the scene of the accident on Wednesday.
Blaze the dog was thrown 20 feet and was taken to an animal hospital.
Doctors and staff at Horseshoe Lake say Blaze is doing better after taking a blow that his handler thought may have killed him.
Officer Mike Bauer and Blaze have been partners for more than two years. Officer Bauer spotted an ATV coming down the street toward him when he stopped to let Blaze stretch his legs Tuesday night just before 8.
Officer Bauer started shining his flashlight, but the ATV swerved toward him. He backed up, but Blaze went forward and the ATV hit him. The person suspected of driving that ATV was taken into custody on Wednesday and was charged on Thursday.
James Hughes, 29, was charged, and his bond was set at $20,000.
At first, Officer Bauer thought Blaze was dead and is upset the ATV rider sped away after striking his partner and friend.
Blaze was released from the animal hospital and sent home on Wednesday. He suffered a bruised lung and trauma to his liver, but is expected to make a full recovery.
It is illegal to ride an ATV on city streets.