As part of its year-round outreach to the Santa Clara Police Department (SCPD) K9 Unit, VCA Lawrence Animal Hospital in Santa Clara, donated two backpacks literally stuffed with emergency medical treatment supplies for the K9 unit on Feb. 4, just in time for Super Bowl 50.
The K9 trauma kits contain everything that might be needed, from simple bandages to medication and protective wear, for on-site emergency treatment in case of injury to one of SCPD’s four service dogs–or to any other K9 on Super Bowl 50 duty.
“Absolutely, a huge thank you to VCA Lawrence for their generous donation of these two trauma kits,” SCPD K9 Unit Sergeant Kevin Fraser wrote in an email. These kits were rolled out prior to Super Bowl 50 and were strategically placed at the various venues during the events leading up to the Super Bowl. The kits were available to ALL of the allied agencies during the week’s events.”
The trauma kits now augment the existing K9 kits that the dog handlers always carry in their assigned patrol vehicles.
Because of the dangerous and potentially violent nature of some of the crimes that a K9 team–a service dog and its handler–responds to, each handler is trained in emergency K9 medical care. The training covers treating everything from a cut to the foot, scrapes, broken bones and poisoning to blunt force trauma, stab wounds and gunshot wounds.
A number of years ago, a SCPD K9 was stabbed in the top of the shoulder while apprehending of a suspect, and its handler was able to dress its wounds. The K9 recovered fully and returned to work a few weeks later.
“We’re always looking for ways to work for the community,” says VCA Lawrence Animal Hospital manager Andre Gallon. “We’re excited to be able to do this and be part of our community. We want to increase the quality of life for animals.”
Each VCA Lawrence doctor does their own community outreach, and Dr. Jo’n Gera spearheaded the project to provide the SCPD with the K9 trauma kits.
“The police department was so excited and happy that the entire on-duty staff came out to receive the packs,” says Gera. “But only one dog! We’ll replenish the packs quarterly.”
VCA Lawrence Animal Hospital doctors are also involved in community spay and neuter clinics and school outreach to teach children about pet care and health. Coordinating with Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, they provide disaster relief for pets.
The animal hospital, (408) 296-3300, provides year-round, low-cost, routine care to SCPD K9s. It also offers low-cost care to police officers’ personal pets.
VCA Lawrence Animal Hospital, 771 Lawrence Expressway, is part of the Veterinary Centers of America (www.vcahospitals.com), which was founded in 1986 in West Los Angeles and is now the largest animal health care provider in the U.S.