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St. Paul police dog demonstrations called off at State Fair

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Police dogs
St. Paul Police officer Rob Vetsch and his Belgium Malinois Jesse June 18, 2013, at police department's Tim Jones Memorial K-9 Kennels in Maplewood.
Jennifer Simonson for MPR News 2013

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter has asked the city's police chief to call off demonstrations of the department's police dogs for the rest of the Minnesota State Fair.

Carter's press secretary, Liz Xiong, said the mayor determined it was best to discontinue the demonstrations in light of an ongoing audit of the department's K-9 unit.

Xiong says Carter looks forward to resuming the tradition next year, after the audit is complete.

The review is underway after three instances in St. Paul in recent years of police dogs biting and injuring people who were not suspects.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports the mayor called Police Chief Todd Axtell on Monday night after hearing a show dog, which was not a St. Paul police dog, bit a child at the fair.