POLICE CANINE MEDICAL RETIREMENT
On October 29th, 2020, K9 Aries suffered an on-duty injury during a training exercise in the City of Globe. At the time, it was believed he had suffered a sprain while running and quickly turning.
On October 30th, 2020, K9 Aries showed no improvement and appeared to be in pain. He was taken to Samaritan Vet in Globe. Samaritan Vet is responsible for all Police K9 treatment for the Globe Police Department. Dr. Eubanks identified lameness in K9 Aries' right hind limb. At his request, we were sent to Mesa, AZ for follow-up evaluation at VCA Animal Referral and Emergency Center.
Later the same day, K9 Officer Hudson met with VCA medical staff and K9 Aries received X-rays. The x-rays showed he had ruptured his common calcaneal tendon (Achille's Tendon). VCA recommended immediate surgery to repair the tendon.
On October 31st, 2020, K9 Aries underwent surgery for his leg injury at VCA. During the surgery, VCA medical staff learned K9 Aries’ injury was more severe than previously thought and discovered he had also torn all of his support tendons. As a result of this injury, the medical staff had no option but to drill holes in the bone in order to repair the tendons that were torn off.
Once K9 Aries' surgery was confirmed necessary, Officer Hudson was able to obtain assistance in paying for the entire procedure and all follow up costs, saving the City several thousand dollars (initial surgery cost was $5,500.00), secondary surgery was $1,800.00)) through a non-profit organization, Spike's K9 Fund. Spike's K9 Fund was eager to assist Aries in his medical needs and has been an integral part of his recovery.
K9 Aries is currently 6 years old and has served our agency since 2018 when he was acquired via Adlerhorst K9 as a donation. K9 Aries was paired with his current handler, Officer Cody Hudson at the beginning of 2019. Since this pairing, the two went on to become certified in both Patrol Operation and Narcotic Detection. Officer Hudson and K9 Aries have been extremely successful since their certification, assisting and conducting hundreds of narcotic related investigations, resulting in several seizures of approximately 10 pounds of Methamphetamine, 5 pounds of heroin, 10 pounds of Marijuana, Cocaine, thousands of Fentanyl laced prescription pills, firearms, and thousands of dollars in US currency. K9 Aries has also been responsible for apprehending violent suspects who pose a direct threat to our community.
Officer Hudson and K9 Aries have also dismantled several drug sales organizations throughout the City of Globe. K9 Aries is routinely called upon by neighboring agencies to assist with both narcotics work and patrol operations.
It is an undeniable fact our K9 team has been not only extremely successful but effective in removing problems from our community.
After consideration from VCA doctors and staff, reviewing K9 Aries' injury and his potential quality of life afterward, it is clear to me the only option would be a medical retirement. K9 Aries has done an exceptional job for our agency but given his situation, the risk of re-injury is extremely high and not in the best interest of either Aries or the Department.
Officer Hudson has requested K9 Aries be retired to live out his days happily with his family at home and his day-to-day job duties be transitioned over to a new K9.
Globe Police Department’s K9 Officer Aries received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Aries’ vest is sponsored by Don and Misty Fike of Galesburg, IL and is embroidered with the sentiment “Honoring those who served and sacrificed”.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $960.00. Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.