Recent “Buddy Bag” donation to protect MSPD K-9 “Artie” in case of traumatic injury

MT. SHASTA, Calif., — Law enforcement K-9s have proven to be a valuable asset to their handlers, the officers they protect and the community at large over the years, with the specially trained dogs often leading the charge at active crime scenes – meaning they are often the first to make contact with alleged suspects.

While those contacts typically lead to the arrest of the suspect being sought and/or pursued, the inherent danger of contacting suspects, many of whom turn out to be armed with one type of weapon or another, sometimes leads to the service dog being injured in the line of duty.

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One such potentially deadly incident involving a southern California K-9 occurred just days ago, when a San Diego Sheriff’s K-9 was shot while attempting to apprehend three armed robbery suspects at the end of a dangerous, multi-county pursuit that reached speeds of up to 130 mph.

During that chase, the suspects repeatedly fired upon the pursuing officials, striking a CHP vehicle; before the trio fled on foot and attempted to carjack another vehicle after their getaway car became disabled.

Moments after SDSO’s K-9 “Cezar” was released, shots rang out and the police service dog was struck by gunfire.

Thankfully, that shooting happened in the very parking lot where a 24-hour veterinary hospital was located and veterinarians were able to immediately treat Cezar, possibly saving his life. In the wake of the shooting, officials just today announced that Cezar is now on the mend, and is expected to remain off-duty for the next few weeks before returning to full duty.

Although shot while attempting to apprehend a trio of armed robbery suspects at the end of a pursuit, SDSO’s K-9 Cezar was treated within minutes of the shooting at a 24-hour animal hospital, which was within eyesight of where the shooting happened. Man Diego Sheriff’s Office photo

Another such shooting of a police service dog in the Shasta County area occurred in December, 2018, when Anderson Police Department’s K-9 “Chance” was shot while taking a man into custody after a stolen vehicle police pursuit that began in the neighboring City of Redding. Despite being shot, Chance still managed to apprehend the alleged suspect, who sustained several dog-bite injuries during his apprehension.

As reported by SCNS at the time, although Redding PD officers discontinued the chase for officer safety reasons, an APD officer soon spotted the stolen vehicle as it entered their area and a pursuit was once again initiated.

As the chase continued, the fleeing driver rammed an officer’s vehicle head-on and fled from the stolen vehicle on foot, Anderson PD’s Lt. Steve Blunk reported at the time.

“At that point in time the officer who accompanied the struck officer released his K-9 to apprehend the suspect, explained Blunk; adding that at some point during the foot pursuit, “the suspect turned around and shot at the K-9, striking the K-9 in the ear.”

Despite being shot, Chance continued pursuing the alleged suspect, eventually catching and apprehending the fleeing man. The service dog, who was later awarded the Medal of Valor for the successful apprehension, was then rushed to a nearby animal hospital where he received immediate emergency medical care and treatment.

Mt. Shasta Police Sergeant Moore is seen with his K-9 companion and fellow officer, “Artie” with a recently donated “Buddy Bag”, intended to provide emergency medical care to the police service dog, “in the event of an emergency”, said officials. Mt. Shasta Police Department photo

However, while some areas have 24-hour animal hospitals, and most departments have a specific animal hospital or veterinarian they can take their injured K-9 to in an emergency, other, more rural areas, may not have those services immediately available around the clock. As officials in rural areas have often pointed out, having to transport an injured K-9 to available services could delay emergency veterinary care for up to several hours. 

That is when K-9 accessories such as a stab or bullet resistant vest or a dog-specific emergency trauma kit such as a “Buddy Bag” become an essential part of any K-9 handler’s equipment and to the delight of area residents, one such “Buddy Bag” was recently donated to Mt. Shasta PD’s sole K-9, “Artie”.

“Today, Artie received a (very) special treat from the Collin Rose Memorial Foundation,” Mt. Shasta PD wrote in a social media release Thursday, Sept. 9.

“In partnership with the K9 Defender Fund, they donated a “Buddy Bag,” they explained; adding, “This bag contains a whole assortment of K-9 emergency medical supplies and a canine-specific respirator, should Artie ever require emergency field treatment.”

The K9 Defender Fund was created to aid specialized K-9 teams, Military, Fire, Police and SAR, who in turn provide a service or services, to the general public.

“The common factor that unites all of these teams is the specialized dog that stands along side them,” K9 Defender Fund has explained. “Each and every one of these amazing animals, along with their partner, provide a service of protection to the general public.”

“It is the goal of the K9 Defender Fund to help assist in the welfare of these specialized dogs and their handlers, by providing the essential equipment that allows for the teams safety and fastest means of medical response for the K-9.” they continued.

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The Collin Rose Memorial Foundation  is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and was created after the 2016 murder of on-duty Wayne State University Police Department’s Officer Collin Rose in Detroit, Michigan.

Rose worked with police dogs and was shot in the head while attempting to stop and question a bicyclist riding near the university campus in an area that was experiencing an increase in thefts.

Despite life-saving efforts, Rose passed away the following day and although the bicyclist was arrested and charged with the officer’s murder, he was later released due to lack of evidence.

At the time, Rose was the fifth police officer shot in the United States within a three day period.

“We host events that bring together his survivors and supporters,” the Foundation has explained; adding, “We also provide safety gear to K-9 teams around the country.”

The Foundation now funds cyclists in the Police Unity Tour and supports new line-of-duty survivors. They also aid animal welfare organizations and provide scholarship gifts to students, offers grants to officers making a difference in their community and much more.

A police K-9 is seen with the contents of a “Buddy Bag”, similar to the one recently donated to Mt. Shasta PD’s K-9 Artie. The bags are chock-full of emergency trauma essentials, such as canine-specific emergency medical supplies, a canine-specific respirator and much more. K9 Defender Fund photo

“We’d like to send the guys and gals of the Collin Rose Memorial Foundation and K-9 Defender Fund a huge thank you for providing this much needed equipment to us. It is much appreciated!”, MSPD said of the donation; adding, “While we hope to never need to use it, we are very grateful to have it available for worst case scenarios. Thank you!”

To learn more about the K-9 Defender Fund or the Collin Rose Memorial Foundation, they can be found on Facebook or online.



Contact the editor: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.

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