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Humans Aren’t The Only Creatures Capable Of Drama

, , , , , | Healthy | May 8, 2020

The office I work at has a contract with the city police department. We take and treat all sick and injured strays and anything the animal control officers feel needs medical care before going to the shelter. We are open late nights for emergencies, and we get calls fairly regularly from police dispatch saying an officer is bringing in something.

One night, we are running short-staffed due to family emergencies with the people scheduled. Thankfully, it’s a slow night. Then, we get a phone call.

Me: “This is [Clinic]; how can I help you?”

Dispatch: “This is [Police Department] dispatch. We have an officer-involved shooting, officer injured, in route, eta ten minutes.”

Me: “Um, this is the veterinarian.”

Dispatch: “I know; it’s a K9 officer.”

Me: “Oh, um, okay. How bad is he hurt?”

Dispatch: “Unknown. All I know is that they are on their way to you and I was told to call and give you a heads-up.”

Me: “Okay, then, thanks”

I go tell the doctor, he freaks out, thinking this officer has been shot in the chest or something and is going to die on our table because we are really not equipped to handle a gunshot right now. We get the surgery room as ready as we can and wait until they pull up.

The officers all get out of the car. The K9 is limping but walking on his own, and we all let out a sigh of relief.

The K9’s partner can’t tell us much for confidentiality reasons, but this is what he could tell us. There was a suspect with a knife, an officer with a gun, and an officer with a dog. During the capture of the suspect, the dog was released and the gun was fired. While the other officers were booking the suspect, the K9’s partner noticed that the K9’s paw was covered in blood, and the K9 would not let his partner touch his foot. So, they came to us.

We get the officers inside and get the K9 on the exam table, and then it takes a muzzle, his partner, both our techs, and me all holding onto different parts of the dog to keep him on the table while the doctor tries to look at his paw. The paw is soaked in blood. Step one is to pour hydrogen peroxide on it to clean it up and find the wound.  

After a while, the doc asks a question.

Doctor: “Are we sure this isn’t transfer from the suspect?”

Partner: “Suspect was not injured.”

Doctor: “Are you 100% sure about that? I’m not seeing any cuts or anything”

The partner called in over the radio to confirm that the only injury involved was to the K9.  

The doc had a completely clean paw in his hands and was looking between toes and not finding any broken skin. And then, we saw it: a single drop of blood forming midway down a toenail.  

Big brave police dog chipped a nail and acted like his foot had been shot off.

This story was featured in our May 2020 roundup!

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