Atlanta Cop and K-9 Stung By Yellowjackets, Hospitalized


I’m a honey bee remover for a living. Over the years I have extracted and saved hundreds of colonies from sure destruction. Without fail, towards the end of July here in South Carolina I start receiving calls for yellow jackets that have burrowed in the ground or are entrenched in homes. As much as I dislike these sorts of removals, I do them anyway. 

My biggest issues with yellow jackets is that, unlike honey bee stings, they hurt horribly and I react to them badly. I actually took a colony of yellow jackets out of the ground in Charlotte NC that had killed a womans dog. It was a sad day for her and to say the least, an intense day for me. I eliminated one of the largest ground dwelling yellow jacket colonies I have ever come across.

When I saw the story below it brought back memories of that day. Although this doesn’t have anything to do with Honey Bees I think it correct to post. PROTECT YOUR DOGS!



The Brookhaven police officer who was hospitalized after a yellow-jacket attack relapsed Sunday and was taken to urgent care, police reported Monday.

Medical staff treated and released Officer John Ritch, the K-9 officer who was stung more than 50 times by the highly aggressive wasps last Wednesday, said Maj. Brandon Gurley of the police.

Ritch and Grizz, his Belgian Malinois, were both initially treated last week when one of them —it was unclear who was responsible — stepped on a yellow-jacket nest when tracking a suspect in the woods.

Both Grizz and Ritch are back home recovering on Monday, Gurley said. The department announced Monday that a motorcycle group has taken a special interest in Grizz, who ended up at an emergency vet in Sandy Springs after being stung last week.

We Ride To Provide has donated first-aid kits to the dogs of the Brookhaven Police K-9 Unit, Gurley said.

The group raises money to assist and honor police dogs, providing them with first-aid kits to combat wasp and snake bites and other trauma, and coming together for their funerals. It has credited the first-aid kits with saving K-9 lives, the first being from a snake bite in Oconee County.

The first-aid kit can also be used by the human handler, Gurley said, although it was unclear if Grizz or other dogs would have to share in case of another simultaneous stinging.

Such a case could become a true test for man’s best friend.



By Steve Visser

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution




Commenting area

  1. When speaking of yellow jackets I too hate this time of year. Along with bee removals, I do some landscaping. Never fails at least once a year I seem to find that buried colony that doesn’t want to be disturbed. And oh how they let me know. Aim is true . Always find the face.

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