Non-profits come together to help K-9 Bill.
At just three years old, K-9 Bill of the Plover PD in Plover, Wisconsin has not had an easy journey. The department found this German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix in a local kennel in August 2017.
K-9 Bill, originally from the Czech Republic, primarily works with narcotics, usually at traffic stops, where he performs article searches. One of Bill’s big finds was a meth pipe and stolen gun in a vehicle, which then led to the discovery of twenty other stolen guns.
His handler, Officer Seth Pionke, explains how Bill’s personality fits right in with his work. As soon as Pionke clips the leash to Bill’s collar, it’s time for a vehicle sniff, and Bill immediately starts barking and circles the vehicle. “I rarely have to direct him” Pionke explains, “I hold onto the leash while he does all the work—we have a special bond.”
After a few months, however, Pionke started to notice some complications with Bill’s right knee. In December, Bill was taken to the vet, where it turns out he did not have what was originally thought to be an ACL injury, but rather he had a soft-tissue sarcoma (a rare kind of cancer that grows in connective tissue).
Bill underwent cancer surgery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison followed by three weeks of radiation therapy. Pionke was concerned about strangers handling his K-9 but explains how the staff “did a fantastic job,” so Bill went from the kennel to the radiation room every day with no issue.
After the surgery, Officer Pionke, who had to now deal with the medical bills, was seeking out possible K-9 medical grants. He then came across an email from the National Police Dog Foundation, highlighting its medical grants. After applying, Pionke was contacted by Dr. Ron Dalzell, a member of the Foundation’s Medical Advisory Board, who helped him to navigate the hospital invoices.
The National Police Dog Foundation wishes to thank the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF), based in Santa Paula, CA, and the Petco Foundation, for their cooperative effort in making this medical grant available. The National Police Dog Foundation also wishes to thank the University of Wisconsin-Madison for discounting their invoices making our available funds do more good for our K-9 Heroes.
Pionke “cannot thank Ron enough,” for his guidance, and encourages others to “never lose faith in your community or those around you.” As he describes, “this is a once in a lifetime dog,” and Pionke knew this surgery would truly benefit his entire community.
The National Police Dog Foundation is happy to hear that K-9 Bill is back to full health, and is happily back on duty.
SDF is an organization that is well-known for the incredible work they do in training and paring dogs with national disaster first responders. The National Police Dog Foundation looks forward to working together with SDF in providing future grants to K-9s in need of cancer treatment.
The ongoing medical care for K-9s can be very expensive and most K-9 departments simply do not have the funds for the ever increasing medical costs for K-9s. The National Police Dog Foundation commends these K-9s for their dedication and service, and is proud to assist in the costs of Medical Care for K-9s. Please click on the button below to donate to our K-9 Medical Fund. The K-9s really need your help.