Three days after being shot in the neck and undergoing emergency surgery, a Harrisburg police officer headed home with his handler.
The officer, a 2 1/2-year-old Beligian Malinois named Zeke, was shot by a suspect who fired at police during a pursuit and was airlifted to an emergency veterinary clinic.
Surgeon Mark Meyerhoff of Rossmoyne Animal Emergency Center, said Zeke was in bad shape when he came in and having extreme difficulty breathing.
“He was struggling,” Meyerhoff told the Patriot-News, Zeke’s heart rate was at 200 beats a minute, compared with the normal 86-102, and he was in respiratory distress. “He was in a mind of mental stupor,” and had lost about 15 percent of his blood volume," he said.
"He was stabilized that night, and we went ahead with surgery Saturday morning, he said. During the two-hour surgery, Meyerhoff repaired tissue trauma and damage to blood vessels. Zeke has about 40 stitches in all and is fast on the road to recovery.
Today he was reunited with his human partner Harrisburg Police Cpl. Ty Meik. (Watch the happy reunion courtesy Fox 43 News here)
“Zeke’s our hero,” Capt. Annette Oates of Harrisburg Police Department told the Patriot. “He’s one of us … We’re so happy he’s made a full recovery. He’s a fighter – a crime fighter.”
Police say the man who shot him, 20-year-old Skyler Stewart, was shot and killed by police after a chase.
Meyeroff, who runs the clinic with his wife Sabrena (whom he met while they were both treating search and rescue dogs at the Pentagon after 9/11), donated the $4,000 cost of Zeke's care.
But a local bank has established a fund to help pet owners who cannot afford emergency medical care - a subject we multiple animal owners know too well.A trip to an emergency clinic can easily reach $500 without surgery.
Members 1st Federal Credit Union has already collected $18,000 toward the fund, news reports said.
Zeke's shooting was the second such incident involving a police K-9 last week. Sadly, a K-9 officer in New York was not so fortunate. Ape, a 2-year-old Czech German Shepherd on his first assignment with the FBI was shot and killed by a shooting suspect in a standoff in Herkimer.
More on that incident from the New York Times.