Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Glynn County K-9 Officers Prepped about Pet First Aid

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Glynn County K-9 Officers Prepped about Pet First Aid

Article excerpt

BRUNSWICK -- It was pitch dark as Glynn County police Lt. Lenore Brewster and her partner, Ringo, carefully searched for an intruder who had broken into a church.

"All of sudden, I heard this huge crash. My dog had fallen into the church's baptismal tub. Fortunately, Ringo wasn't hurt. But he could have broken a leg or something else real easily," Brewster said.

Searching buildings for burglars, apprehending armed suspects, tracking fugitives through snake-infested woods and sniffing out drugs are all in a hazardous day or night's work for Ringo and the other six police dogs comprising the Glynn County Police Department K-9 Unit.

Yesterday, their human partners learned how to better help the canines if they are wounded or accidentally injured. "Fortunately, none of our dogs have been killed or severely injured in the line of duty," Brewster said. "But they have a high probability of cuts, bruises, muscle strains or accidentally ingesting drugs when they are on duty."

Kimberly Ellis, a Brunswick veterinarian, taught the K-9 officers how to administer emergency first aid to their dogs in a variety of situations ranging from snake bites to gunshot wounds and broken bones.

Ellis also is a pet first aid instructor for Glynn County Chapter of the American Red Cross, which put the training session for the K-9 handlers. The chapter also offers the same class to the general public.

Cindy Perry, chapter executive director, said this was the first time that the organization has conducted the class for police officers.

"We wanted to do it for them because their dogs are out there every day working and they are very susceptible to getting injured," Perry said.

Brewster, who is K-9 unit commander, said the Red Cross class will augment the basic emergency training that the officers already receive in-house for the treatment of trauma injuries, such as gunshot wounds, to their dogs.

"This is a more in-depth course that what we've done before," Brewster said. …

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