K9 Tinkerbell; Road to Recovery

First and foremost we (Austin, Maddie, and Tink) would like to thank the UNCG Police Department for all of the support, positive thoughts, and prayers they have provided. Due to the department being small in size, it has reached its financial ability to help further in this situation. The UNCG Police Department is not directly affiliated with this GoFundMe and will not be receiving any of the proceeds through this fundraiser. 

Secondly, we are thankful to the university for providing an area and environment that we enjoy working in and for. The university is also not directly affiliated with this GoFundMe and will not be receiving any of the proceeds through this fundraiser. 


Tinkerbell (Tink for short) is a Belgian Malinois that has worked for the past seven years in several different capacities serving the UNCG and Greensboro community. During these seven years she has also been a devoted partner and friend to K9 Officer Austin. 

Tink and K9 Officer Austin recently passed their yearly certifications during the week of September 17th-20th. Woo hoo! However, that Friday we noticed Tink appeared to be having difficulty breathing. Along with her shortness of breath, she began to throw-up all of her food and water intake. 

As a safety precaution we took Tink to her local veterinarian (which we love and appreciate beyond words) to have her checked out. Tink’s Dr. needed to send her X-rays off to a specialist in order to determine an odd pattern shown on her lungs. 

When we received the results of the X-rays, we were told to get to the emergency Veterinary specialist clinic as soon as possible. The results from the specialist advised she had what is called “Spontaneous Pneumothorax.” In plain terms, this means that Tink has a collapsed lung and has air leaking into her chest cavity. This causes pressure to work against her lungs so that they cannot properly function. 

Tink would go on to have her chest tapped and have nearly 2 Liters of air released from her chest cavity. On the X-ray, there appears to be what is called a Bullae on Tink’s lung. A bullae is essentially an air blister that develops on the lung, and for reasons unknown the bullae on Tink’s lung burst, which caused a hole to form and leak air into her chest cavity. 

The Veterinary specialist and us have consulted and decided that surgery is our best route in order to give sweet Tink the best opportunity to live happily.

Tink is scheduled to have surgery on September 25th at approximately 11am. This is a very invasive surgery that entails the possibility of partial lung removal, and will require several weeks of recovery. Please keep the Veterinarian, Veterinary Technicians, and other Veterinary staff in your thoughts and prayers as they perform this surgery.

Continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as this has been a very unexpected turn of events. We certainly will miss Tink working on the road and sporting her badge, but life will be much sweeter with having her happy and healthy as the new house dog. 

Again, we would like to thank the UNCG Police Department for their willingness to help as much as possible during this time. However, due to the intensity of surgery, post-operative care, and recovery, the costs have surpassed our expectations and we are seeking additional support financially. The funds donated through this GoFundMe will go towards remaining Veterinary bills, post-operative treatments, and follow ups. 

Please keep in mind that this is a projected goal, and is subject to change due to any possible surgery complications, extended days in ICU, etc. We will be keep you all updated if this begins to take place. 

We cannot thank you all enough for your support and generosity during this difficult time and appreciate any donations for Tinkerbell. 


Special thanks to Dr. Tev and his Veterinary staff of Oakridge Animal Hospital for their devotion to helping Tink and allowing us to come in on a Friday afternoon 30 minutes prior to closing. 

Special thanks to the Carolina Veterinary Specialist hospitals (Winston and Greensboro) for their willingness to take Tink in and offer her the best care possible. Also a big thank you for dealing with us because we call every few hours to check on her. 

We truly cannot thank you all enough for taking care of our special girl.
  • Mason Westbrook 
    • $50 
    • 36 mos
  • Rachael Patterson 
    • $50 
    • 36 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 36 mos
  • Barney & George Poole 
    • $25 
    • 36 mos
  • james sutton 
    • $20 
    • 36 mos
See all

Fundraising team (3)

Maddie Benfield 
Raised $815 from 15 donations
Kernersville, NC
Mikey Austin 
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more