July 13, 2012
BOSTON, July 13, 2012 – When the 16 highly trained dogs that make up the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department K9 unit need medical care, there’s only one full-service animal hospital that meets their needs: Angell Animal Medical Center in Jamaica Plain, Mass. Angell has reduced its normal exam fees to accommodate the dogs’ special needs, and the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department’s K9 unit will enjoy a 15 percent discount on all medical services performed at the hospital.
Like Olympic athletes who need constant professional treatment to remain at the top of their game, police dogs require comprehensive wellness programs spanning nutrition, preventative medicine and—when necessary—trauma and emergency care. The Sherriff’s department selected Angell as the dogs’ primary care provider because only Angell can provide these, plus 24/7/365 emergency care, under one roof. Given the unpredictable nature of police work, this is essential for both the dogs and their police officer partners.
Angell to Train Officers on Animal First Aid
Because the dogs’ line of work frequently puts them in dangerous situations, the Department has also tasked Angell with devising and delivering specialized canine first aid training for officers and dog handlers. Angell’s medical and canine behavior experts are now assembling a comprehensive training program that all involved believe will be crucial for the safety of the animals out in the field.
K9 Unit dog "Bodo" with his Sheriff's officer partner (Credit: Plymouth County Sheriff's Department)
An Encounter With a Horse Sends Cedar to the Hospital
The danger these dogs face in the field came into stark relief two months ago when Cedar, a five-year-old German Shepherd, was kicked in the face by a horse. Cedar was treated by a local veterinarian, and the dog’s partner, Deputy Dennis Desroches, brought him to Angell for follow-up care several weeks after the incident to see Dr. Douglas Brum, who was able to complete Cedar’s recovery so the dog could go back to work.
Said Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph D. McDonald, Jr. of the incident, “We do everything possible to keep the dogs out of harm’s way—not only because of the significant investment of time and money that goes into their training—but because of the genuine fondness and respect we have for these animals. Our officers are very, very committed to their welfare.”
“It’s an honor to extend our veterinary expertise to the brave members of the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department’s K9 team—dogs whose line of work frequently puts them in harm’s way,” said Dr. Brum. “I’m especially impressed with the dogs’ vigorous health and the excellent training they receive from the Department, and our mission is to keep all of the dogs in tip-top shape to ensure they can perform their jobs at the highest level.”
Under the leadership of Sheriff Joseph D. McDonald, elected in 2004, the Plymouth County Sherriff’s Department is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the nation. The Department’s world-class K9 unit is comprised of 16 dogs including German Shepherds, Labradors and Retrievers. The dogs assist officers in missions as varied as drug arrest, terrorism investigations, perimeter security and countless other duties. The Department maintains a comprehensive breeding and training program and regularly lends members of the K9 team out to other Massachusetts police and sheriff’s departments when necessary. For more information about the program readers can visit the Department’s Website by clicking here.
Angell Animal Medical Center cares for more than 50,000 animals a year and is one of the most acclaimed veterinary practices in the country. Angell has 67 doctors and an experienced support staff who work as a team to ensure high quality general wellness, emergency and specialty care. With 31 board-certified specialists and technology that includes an MRI specifically designed for animals, Angell is committed to providing a broad range of specialized expertise and experience, but delivers this care with one-on-one compassion that animals and their owners deserve. Angell is open for emergencies 24 hours of every day of the year, and offers night and weekend appointments with our specialty services.