Trooper charged with injuring K-9 cop

By Herald Staff

JASPER — An Indiana State Police trooper has been charged with striking a law enforcement animal while at a training in Jasper in March.

Trooper Dustan Rubenacker, 29, was issued a summons by the Dubois County Prosecutor’s Office to appear in court for the Class A misdemeanor charge.

Rubenacker was with his police K-9, Odin, at a training session on March 17 with other officers. They were participating in an exercise and Odin was not properly focusing on the correct target. Rubenacker allegedly used unreasonable discipline toward Odin, which injured the dog, police said. Several state police K-9 teams were present when the alleged incident happened, police said.

Odin was taken to a veterinary clinic where the dog was found to have a serious fracture to his right rear leg, police reported. Odin underwent surgery to repair his leg. Police do not know if the K-9 will return to work.

State police initiated a criminal investigation after the incident.

Odin is a 5-year-old Belgian malinois and has been a member of the Indiana State Police for about four years.

Rubenacker, who is a six-year veteran of the Indiana State Police, is currently on administrative leave with pay, police reported. He is scheduled to appear in Dubois Circuit Court at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 6.

An internal investigation is ongoing, police said.

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