FRESNO, California – Fresno Police need your help following the sudden loss of one of their canines and two other dogs were injured.
So they are now trying to raise money to get their K-9 Officers back up to full staff.
The unit normally staffed with 13 dogs, is now down to 11. Suffering from the sudden loss of K-9 Axel.
“Last Thursday, one of our handlers went to check on his dog, K-9 Axel, and the dog passed away in the night,” says Sgt. Jeff La Blue with the Fresno Police Department’s K-9 Unit.
He says the dog died from a gastric disorder called Torsion, which is twisting of the stomach.
Although, La Blue says when it happens it can be detectable, that was not the case with K-9 Axel, who was with the department for nearly two years.
“During this Torsion episode, an artery was ruptured and the dog passed rather quickly,” he says.
With K-9 Axel gone, the unit has two other dogs injured, though one is only working when needed.
La Blue says K-9’s are important to the force because of their heighten sense of smell and hearing.
“My opinion a K-9 Unit, a team with a handler and a dog is an ideal patrol car to have on the street,” La Blue expressed.
He added, “When we have a situation that is rapidly evolving, or a suspect is on the loose, or a suspect drops a murder weapon, this unit is called.”
But with the cost of just one dog ranging from $11,000 to $15,000.
They are now reaching out, asking for the community’s help.
“Currently, because of the unforeseen injury and untimely death, the cost that’s coming on the agency is a little extensive for what we have budgeted,” La Blue explained.
He says the dogs don’t just provide safety for them but are part of the community.
They attend schools and public events. La Blue says they have attended about 60 so far this year.
Officer Jim Young says the dogs are family, “He knows when I’m having a good day and knows when I’m having a bad day.”
Their goal is to raise $40,000. They hope to have a public event soon.
If you would like to donate, you can visit the Fresno Police K-9 Unit’s Facebook page or call (559) 621-7000 ext. 3800 to leave a voice mail.
You can also contact the Fresno Police Chaplaincy at (559) 621-2120 or email inquiries can go to Jeff.firstname.lastname@example.org