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Suffolk K-9 unit gets more veterinary funding

A Suffolk police dog at a crime scene

A Suffolk police dog at a crime scene in March. Credit: Barry Sloan

The Suffolk County Police Department successfully fetched more funding for K-9 unit veterinary services.

The police department requested $20,000 more in a contract with the Animal Medical Hospital of Centereach to keep their 23 dogs healthy.

The department already has spent $29,500 on vet services this year, exceeding the $25,000 contract amount, K-9 Unit Sgt. James Curley said.  

Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart cautioned that costs could go up with emergencies that cannot be predicted given “the nature of their assignments.”

“It is imperative that vet care for the canines remains uninterrupted, as they must be in fit condition at all times for law enforcement purposes,” Hart wrote in an application to the county legislature’s Waiver Committee, which approves contracts that bypass the regular competitive bid process. 

The dogs — all German shepherds or mixes of German shepherd and Belgian Malinois — have been known to develop a variety of conditions and ailments.

So far this year, Nash was hospitalized for swallowing an object and Rascal was treated after getting into a dogfight, Hart said.

Sparks was diagnosed with an enlarged heart. Rico was treated at the emergency room. Unser and Archer had dental issues. And Murph was treated for lacerations.

The waiver committee unanimously approved the funding request last Wednesday.

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