Decorated combat dog killed after allegedly attacking cyclist

Posted at 5:14 PM, Oct 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-17 17:14:57-04

POWELL, Wisconsin (Fox News) — A combat dog who earned Bronze Stars in Iraq was shot and killed after a bicyclist said that it attacked him.

The 59-year-old bicyclist told the Park County Sheriff’s office that he was attacked by a “German shepherd-looking dog” on the road. Authorities say that the dog – whose name was Mike – got loose out of its owners yard. The bicyclist fended off the dog with his bike before he grabbed his revolver from the bicycle-mounted holster and shot it.

The dogs owner, Matthew Bessler, 43, is a retired Army Ranger who served in six tours in Iraq, with Mike as his partner for two. The two worked to detect explosives and hunt insurgents over a 16-month period, which earned the duo two Bronze Stars.

They both returned home in 2010 with PTSD. According to Bessler, Mike is the Army’s first and only case of PTSD being found in a dog.

Mike was trained to become a service dog for Bessler – a 20-year Army vet – and was taught to anticipate and interrupt his anxiety and darkest moods, often by climbing on top of him or by dropping a tennis ball in his lap.