Your corgi is stung by a bee. Your pit bull will snort a foxtail, pick up snail bait, or break its leg. Either way, you take your beloved puppy to the nearest veterinary clinic and return home with a large bill and, more importantly, your rested dog.
But what if you’re a K-9 police officer in the field and your partner gasps uncontrollably after chasing a suspect in muggy 90-degree weather? Or maybe your K-9 is returning from a search through the forest with a swollen limb or a suspicious bite on the neck. You are nowhere near a veterinary clinic and your partner’s life may be at risk. How are you?
Thanks to the K-9 Emergency Medicine training course offered by the Police and the Working K-9 Foundation, nearly 600 K-9 employees are better able to answer this question and have life-saving skills and tools to help treat their K-9 requires four-legged partners.
“Handlers typically have a few hours of tuition in caring for their K-9 partner that is offered when they complete their K-9 basic training,” said Louise Tully, president and co-founder of the foundation. “We are not aware of any similar course that offers our kind of extensive curriculum.” She added that some private companies are trying to fill the void by offering paid courses, but the foundation offers both the course and, with it, the Custom K-9 Trauma Kit and K-9 Stat Pak (valued at $ 300 USD) free of charge to agencies or dealers.