Shirley was a huge asset to the state of Oklahoma and nationally, assisting countless local, state and federal agencies with investigations. She trained and served with the ATF’s national K9 task force for several years, helping keep Americans safe. She protected America locally, working gun and explosives cases, and nationally at events such as the Super Bowl, U.S. Olympic Trials, College World Series, National Conventions and even provided protection for Miss America Lauren Nelson in 2007. She worked numerous dignitary security details to include former Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney and former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. One of her favorites was former United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (who took a few moments to walk over to Shirley at a speaking event and leaned over giving her some attention and love while also expressing her appreciation and telling us about her own dogs). When Shirley wasn’t training or working, she spent many days visiting children in local schools and hospitals.
When I moved on from my ATF K9 position, I adopted Shirley and have been personally covering all of her expenses since. I currently serve as a police officer in a large suburb in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Shirley is now a family dog who enjoys walks, water in any form or location, carrots and lots of sofa time. Since retiring, Shirley has been healthy and well cared for. As she has aged, however, she has started to experience issues with arthritis and has recently been diagnosed with a full ACL (CCL) tear that needs surgery to correct. These types of injuries are common in large dogs. I’m told by her vet that without surgery, she will ultimately lose her ability to get around at all and will need to be euthanized. Not using the left leg will cause muscle atrophy over time, and she is at high risk of a tear in the opposite leg. Shirley’s got many good years left in her and she’s given her life to take care of us. I want her to have the highest quality life possible. Shirley is being treated at Midwestern University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Recieving treatment at the university will ensure Shirley recieves state of the art treatment, while at the same time help shape the education of future "animal helpers" and innovative studies being conducted by the University. It will also help with expense of the surgery and treatment. I am told the treatment and surgery could cost three times as much at a normal veterinary clinic. I have personally paid nearly $400 for x-rays, evaluations and medication already. The surgery alone is estimated to cost $2200 or more, an unexpected expense I did not count on. The picture of the bill below is an estimate for the ACL surgery alone. Please consider donating even a small amount to help me offset the cost.
If I am successful in raising funds for Shirley’s veterinarian and surgical costs, I will donate any extra funds to the Blue Line K9 Foundation and Retired Paws, both Arizona-based foundations that assist police K9’s and their handlers throughout the nation.
Here are links to a past newspaper article and press release featuring me and K9 Shirley at work:
ATF K9 Searches for Evidence in the Murder of Two Young Girls
ATF K9 Locates Explosives Materials, Guns and Ammunition in Hidden Compartments Leading to Arrest
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