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Portage Co. first responders can now help injured K-9 officers

PORTAGE COUNTY (WAOW) K-9’s are considered officers — except they have four legs.

Just like life-saving measures would be given to an officer if they were hurt, the same now goes for K-9’s in Portage County.

K-9 officers and their handlers put their lives on the line every day.

“When one of our K-9 officers goes down, it’s not the question of if — it’s when it happens — are we prepared for it here at Stevens Point Fire Department?” said J.B Moody Assistant Chief at the Stevens Point Police Department.

Wisconsin is one of five states where EMS are able to treat domestic animals on the spot.

However, it wasn’t until last week when Stevens Point first responders learned how to treat a K-9 if they were hurt in the line of duty.

An example that comes to mind is Pyro in Green Bay, who was stabbed by a suspect earlier this year.

Area veterinarians, including Stevens Point Animal Hospital and Fox Valley Animal Referral Center, helped first responders learn the anatomy of a dog and give tips on how to properly treat them on the spot.

Officer Luna, along with other K-9 officers, almost always wears a bulletproof vest; but, there is no telling how each call might go, and that is where the K-9 medical training comes in handy.

“If we are in a high-speed chase and the guy runs and we send the dog, we don’t know what kind of weapons the guy has and as the K-9 approaches the guy we don’t know if he will stab or shoot the K-9,” said Officer J.D. Ballew.

All Portage County ambulances will be carrying oxygen masks of different sizes for our furry friends, and it isn’t just for K-9 officers

“We find these domestic pets and we bring them out of the harsh environment. Well, what can we legally do for them?” said Moody.

First responders learned how to properly stop bleeding on a K-9. Squad cars are also equipped with first aid kits for K-9’s, including two doses of Narcan for the dogs.

EMS is not allowed to legally transport domestic animals. The objective is to give them treatment on the spot until their owners or handlers make their own arrangements.

Victoria Saha

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