When the 16 highly-trained and valuable dogs that make up the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department K9 unit need medical care, there’s only one full service animal hospital that can meet their needs: Angell Animal Medical Center in Jamaica Plain, Mass. Angell’s Dr. Douglas Brum, who has been instrumental in developing the hospital’s general wellness program, has become the go-to doctor for many of the dogs’ unique medical needs. Dr. Brum is also reducing his normal exam fees to accommodate the dogs special needs, and the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department’s K9 unit will enjoy a 15 percent discount on all medical services performed at the hospital.
Like Olympic athletes who need constant professional treatment to remain at the top of their game, police dogs require comprehensive wellness programs spanning nutrition, preventative medicine and—when necessary—trauma and emergency care. The Sherriff’s department selected Angell as the dogs’ primary care provider because only Angell can provide all of these services 24/7/365 under one roof. Given the unpredictable nature of police work, this is essential for both the dogs and their police officer partners.
Angell to Train Officers on Animal First Aid
Because the dogs’ line of work frequently puts them in dangerous situations, the Department has also tasked Angell with devising and delivering specialized canine first aid training for officers and dog handlers. Angell’s medical and canine behavior experts are now assembling a comprehensive training program that all involved believe will be crucial for the safety of the animals out in the field.
An Encounter With a Horse Sends Cedar to the Hospital
The danger these dogs face in the field came into stark relief last month when Cedar, a 5-year-old German Shepherd, was kicked in the face by a horse. Cedar’s partner, Deputy Dennis Desroches, rushed the dog to Angell where Dr. Brum examined him. Fortunately, Cedar suffered only minor lacerations that were easily treated on the spot.
“We do everything possible to keep the dogs out of harm’s way—not only because of the significant investment of time and money that goes into their training—but because of the genuine fondness and respect we have for these animals. Our officers are very, very committed to their welfare,” Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph McDonald. said.
“It’s an honor to extend our veterinary expertise to the brave members of the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department’s K9 team—dogs whose line of work frequently puts them in harm’s way,” Dr. Brum said. “I’m especially impressed with the dogs’ vigorous health and the excellent training they receive from the Department, and our mission to is to keep all of the dogs in tip-top shape to ensure they can perform their jobs at the highest level.”