The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine — in conjunction with the UC Davis Police Department — is pleased to announce the establishment of the Faithful Partner Fund to assist with the medical costs of treating K-9 officers, as well as search and rescue dogs, injured in the line of duty.
The UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital has a long history of caring for K-9 officers, having treated 65 police dogs in the past four years, and offers free, annual teeth and eye examinations for K-9s.
The Faithful Partner Fund is initially funded by matching $25,000 contributions from both UC Davis’ School of Veterinary Medicine and Police Department. As those funds can quickly be 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 for the previous 65 K-9 officers treated at UC Davis was $700 per dog. In critical instances, however, medical expenses can escalate far beyond that. 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.
“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 UC Davis Police Department. “We are fortunate to have one of the best veterinary hospitals in the world right here on the UC Davis campus.”
The UC Davis Police Department recently acquired a new K-9 officer, Charlie, handled by Officer Vincent Kwong. Charlie, a 3-year-old black Labrador mix, was adopted from a rescue in the Davis area. He completed K-9 training and is certified in explosive detection and article searches. He can detect numerous types of explosives and also locate evidence left behind at a crime scene. Charlie assists the UC Davis Police Department at large campus and dignitary events to enhance security. He also supports the Yolo County Bomb Squad as needed.
“We’re proud to be able to establish this fund to keep our state’s K-9 officers healthy,” said Michael Lairmore, 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.”
Individuals or organizations interested in supporting the Faithful Partner Fund can contribute by making checks payable to “UC Regents.” On the memo line write “Faithful Partner Fund” and mail to UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, P.O. Box 1167, Davis, CA, 95617
Contributions to the Faithful Partner Fund can also be made online or by contacting the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Development Office at (530) 752-7024.