The University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the U.C. Davis Police Department have established the Faithful Partner Fund to assist with the medical costs of treating K-9 officers and search and rescue dogs injured in the line of duty.
Specifically, the fund is available to dogs on active duty in California law enforcement and search and rescue units, including police and sheriff departments, California Highway Patrol, military and federal agencies. Preference will be given to dogs needing emergency care for injuries sustained in the line of duty, as well as dogs suffering from serious illnesses or conditions, the university noted. The financial support is for medical treatment at the U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
“With the growing recognition of the vital role that K-9 law enforcement officers and search and rescue dogs play in our society, there is an increasing demand for these animals to receive the highest level of veterinary care available,” said Matthew Carmichael, chief of the U.C. Davis Police Department. “We are fortunate to have one of the best veterinary hospitals in the world right here on the U.C. Davis campus.”
The Faithful Partner Fund is initially funded by matching $25,000 contributions from both the U.C. Davis vet school and the U.C. Davis Police Department. Since funds can be quickly depleted, the program welcomes contributions from the public as well as law enforcement agencies and federal search and rescue groups.
The average cost of care based on previous K-9 officers treated at the school was $700 per dog. However, in critical instances, medical expenses can escalate far beyond that, the university noted. The majority of those medical costs were most often borne by the K-9 officer’s handler and/or from contributions by the officer’s unit.
“We’re proud to be able to establish this fund to keep our state’s K-9 officers healthy,” said Michael Lairmore, DVM, Ph.D., dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. “A large part of our goal as an institution is to partner with other campus units and the community to enhance the well-being of animals throughout California. The Faithful Partner Fund is a perfect example of that.”
Those interested in supporting the Faithful Partner Fund can contribute by making checks payable to “U.C. Regents.” On the memo line write “Faithful Partner Fund” and mail to U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, P.O. Box 1167, Davis, CA 95617.
Contributions can also be made online.