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Originally published Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 1:05 PM

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Cities, counties settle erroneous K9 dog attacks

Law enforcement agencies have paid nearly $1 million in damages from police dogs attacking innocent people in the past five years.

The Associated Press

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"Even after multiple bites on innocent people, many K-9s remain on duty." ... MORE

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SEATTLE —

Law enforcement agencies have paid nearly $1 million in damages from police dogs attacking innocent people in the past five years.

The Seattle Times reports (http://bit.ly/WCkGzN) that in that time span, 17 people claimed they were wrongly attacked by police dogs in Western Washington.

A newspaper analysis of more than 100 Washington cities found that such incidents happen several times a year in the state.

In many cases, individual dogs are responsible for several attacks, an issue that dog trainers and experts say is a warning sign that the dog and handler might need additional training.

Of those 17 incidents, three dogs - two from Pierce County and one from Seattle - were responsible for nine of the incidents and more than two-thirds of the damages paid.

Even after multiple bites on innocent people, many K-9s remain on duty.

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