Research hopes to improve K9 treatment

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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — We often hear about police dogs helping with investigations, but just like police officers, they can get hurt. That’s why veterinarians at the University of Illinois are researching what to do if and when that happens.

It depends on where you are. The laws about how to treat police K9’s is different in every state. Luckily, in 2017, transporting them to the hospital became legal.

There are still some hurdles left. First responders still can’t legally perform any medical treatment on K9’s in Illinois. These researchers made it their goal to create some guidelines officers could use for their particular departments. The research includes tips on how to safely restrain or muzzle a dog, all of their work has one clear goal in mind, keeping both K-9’s and officers safe.

“I have all faith in all the stake holders that the one thing everybody can always agree on is we want to help our working dogs that find that lost child or help us conquer the opioid epidemic, and I know that if we all come together that we can come up with the best plan to keep our working dogs safe,” said Veterinarian Ashley Mitek.

These researchers are trying to advocate for first responders to be able to treat dogs. They hope that’s something that comes with time. Almost 68 law enforcement dogs were reported killed on the job in the U.S. during a 30-month period ending in July 2018. There’s no official record-keeping for K9 deaths, those were just the ones that were reported.

You can find a link to the research article here.

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