SOURCE: Police & Working K-9 Foundation

Police & Working K-9 Foundation

December 06, 2011 12:16 ET

Technology and Teamwork Help Keep California Police Dogs Safe on the Streets

WOODSIDE, CA--(Marketwire - Dec 6, 2011) - The Police & Working K-9 Foundation, an innovative California non-profit 'start-up,' is teaming up with private companies and the public to keep law enforcement K-9 teams safe with innovative technology and training. Police and Sheriff's K-9 handlers from more than 30 California law enforcement agencies will benefit from this innovation and will gather at the Alameda County Office of Emergency Services for an intensive day-long "Cover Your K-9" Emergency Medicine Seminar on Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 from 8:30 AM to 4 PM.

Law enforcement patrol and detection dogs are routinely exposed to hazardous situations in the course of carrying out their duties and protecting the community. Some risks that police dogs face include the possibility of injury from searches in challenging terrain, the possibility of a suspect with a weapon, heat exhaustion, exposure to chemicals and other dangers. The Silicon Valley based "Cover Your K-9" project of the Police and Working K-9 Foundation is using the latest high tech materials, design and training to provide essential safety equipment such as bullet-proof vests, heat sensors for patrol cars and custom K-9 trauma kits to protect hard-working police dogs while they are on the job.

A volunteer veterinary team of 4 doctors and 10 veterinary technicians will be led by Dr. Robert Lukas of the Sage Centers for Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Care. During the course, K-9 handlers will team up to learn CPR with furry dog mannequins called 'resusci-dogs.' To help the officers learn essential splinting and bandaging skills, the highly-trained and very patient search and rescue dogs from the Alameda County Sheriff's SAR K-9 Unit will act as 'demo dogs' and offer their paws up for the handlers to practice on.

The custom "Cover Your K-9" Trauma Kits have been designed by the veterinary specialists at Sage Centers for Specialty and Emergency Care and even include a special K-9 oxygen mask. The custom trauma bags, with wheels and a pop-up handle, contain many items not available in commercial kits. They are provided at no charge for each K-9 officer to carry in their patrol car so that they can provide rapid first aid care to their police dog partner in case of an emergency.

With budget cuts affecting so many local K-9 units, Pet Food Express wanted to help the Police and Working K-9 Foundation with their mission and has hosted the Annual "Cover Your K-9" fundraiser. Thousands of pet owners and animal lovers have rallied together at Pet Food Express locations to raise funds to help keep hardworking police dogs safe -- raising more than $250,000 for California police dogs over the past three years. The "Cover Your K-9" Program has helped protect more than 100 police dogs in California with special bullet-proof vests, 16 police teams with new heat sensors for their patrol cars, assisted retired dogs with emergency veterinary care and now more than 60 K-9 handlers will be receiving advanced training and custom canine first aid kits to keep their police dogs safe.

The "Cover Your K-9" Fund is a project of the Police and Working K-9 Foundation, an all-volunteer non-profit corporation working to keep law enforcement K-9 teams 'covered' with safety equipment and emergency medical care. Through the "Cover Your K-9" Fund, PAW K-9 has collaborated with private companies in the design of new safety technology and training courses to protect police dogs. All proceeds donated to this fund are tax-deductible and are used for the purchase of safety equipment for law enforcement K-9s and for an emergency medical care fund for retired K-9s.

Pet Food Express is locally owned and operated by Michael & Mark. In 1976, Michael started a dog training business in San Francisco, and later added a Police K-9 division which was run by then retired San Francisco Police Lieutenant Art O'Keefe. Pet Food Express does not sell animals and is dedicated to promoting pet adoptions through local shelters and rescue groups. So far, Pet Food Express has aided in the adoption of 54,000 Bay Area pets.

Sage Centers for Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Care is a privately held referral veterinary specialty practice dedicated to orthopedic and soft tissue surgery, oncology, internal medicine, neurology, physical rehab, and emergency care. It has four facilities located in the San Francisco Bay Area in Concord, Campbell, Dublin, and San Mateo. Sage is one of the largest veterinary specialty practices in the country with approximately 40 doctors and a staff of almost 200 employees.

DECEMBER 7, 2011 8:30 AM - 4 PM

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