City of Bartlesville

Posted: Jan 10, 2020 9:09 AMUpdated: Jan 10, 2020 9:12 AM

K9 Borg is Recovering, Donations Being Accepted

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Garrett Giles

Borg, a K9 for the Bartlesville Police Department, is said to be on the mend after having gastropexy surgery last Saturday in Tulsa.

Police Chief Tracy Roles said as a dog lover, it was a very scary moment. He said they were fortunate to identify and respond to the situation quickly so they could get Borg the medical attention he needed.

The American College of Veterinary Surgeons says, “Gastropexy may be performed in healthy dogs to help prevent the occurrence of gastric dilatation and volvulus; a condition in which the stomach distends with gas and rotates in the abdomen. During emergency surgery for dogs that experience GDV, gastropexy is performed after de-rotation of the stomach to prevent recurrence of the condition.”

Chief Roles said the surgery performed on Borg has opened their eyes at the police department to ways they can prevent GDV in other K9s. He said GDV does not happen as often in other breeds of dogs, so he is unsure as to whether or not they will take preventative measures on other breeds of dogs.

However, long-bodied Shepherds will be looked at. Chief Roles said there is some things they can do on the front end that can prevent them from going through what Borg had to go through.

It was a relief to everyone at the BPD that Borg was going to be just fine. Chief Roles said they are especially grateful for the Bartlesville Police Department Foundation and their efforts to raise funds to cover the costs for Borg’s GDV surgery. He said he never knew how expensive surgeries for animals could be until they took Borg to Tulsa.

The surgery costs $7,000. Chief Roles said they do not budget for surgery for their K9s and they wonder if they should. He said K9 officers do not have insurance like human officers do, so the BPD has to come up with creative ways to offset the costs through the Bartlesville Police Department Foundation.

Donations for Borg’s medical expenses can be made to the BFD Foundation through the Bartlesville Community Foundation. To make a donation call 918.337.2287. A link to give can be found here.

Chief Roles said he is very proud of the leadership of Sgt. Troy Newell who oversees the K9 Division. He said he keeps up-to-speed with the training and the health needs of each K9 they have like Borg.

Sgt. Newell also oversees the Impact Team. Chief Roles said this team is beneficial and they deploy this team in any neighborhood in the community that might be facing issues. He said special assignments will also be handled by the Impact Team.

There were three K9’s when Chief Roles came to Bartlesville. That number has doubled in his nearly two-year tenure. A K9 is now available to ever patrol shift the Bartlesville Police Department conducts.

The K9 officers are vital to the overall success of any police department. Chief Roles said he is happy that they have the unit that they have now. He said they not only detect narcotics, they find people as well. Recently, they were able to find a missing elder in the community thanks to the K9 fleet.

Medical marijuana is another story. Chief Roles said the BPD wants to keep the K9 Unit ahead of the game. He said with medical marijuana in the Bartlesville community, an interesting dilemma has formed because the K9’s are trained to detect owners of marijuana.

If someone is legally possessing marijuana, it could be interesting to see how it plays out is all Chief Roles had to say. He said the government will have to get involved as far as guidelines or direction on how they are going to handle that type of situation moving forward.

“Law enforcement is ever-changing, and we have to change with it,” Chief Roles said. While he does not always agree with the laws that come through, he said it is the Bartlesville Police Department’s job to uphold the law.

Aside from that, Chief Roles said they will continue to comply with the current state of the law. He said he is always proud of the K9 Unit, the handlers and the overseers of the department. And when a K9 gets hurt or needs attention, they are going to take care of their officer one way or another.

(Photo courtesy: The BPD Foundation)

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