Police are taking donations and selling T-shirts to pay to repair the torn ligament.
HARTVILLEÂ Police are taking donations to help a fallen fellow officer — a police dog named Bill Stanios.
They are also selling T-shirts for $20 apiece at Friday night’s Lake Blue Streaks football game against the Dover Tornados with all proceeds going to fund the surgery.
Officer Bill has a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) on his left rear leg, an injury that leaves the intimidating German shepherd whining with pain when he leaps out of the cruiser he rides in with his partner, Patrolman Don Worthy. The dog is also limping.
“Officer Bill is always jumping in and out of the car and it hurts him,” said village Police Chief Larry Dordea. “His training requires leaping, obstacles … We have a very active dog with a big role in the community and we want to get him well and back on the road.”
About two week ago, after assisting the Ohio Highway Patrol at a traffic stop on state Route 224, Worthy noticed the dog was whimpering. The dog did not want to get back into the cruiser.
Worthy said he didn’t know if his four-footed partner was injured during that event or on a previous occasion, but since then, Officer Bill has been in pain.
“He can’t jump and run, and getting in and out of the cruiser is hard on him,” the chief said.
The dog’s regular veterinarian thought he may have strained a muscle, but another veterinarian later confirmed a torn ACL, Dordea said.
The surgery is scheduled for Sept. 7 at MedVet in Copley, and the prognosis called for a permanent recovery.
But the cost, Dordea said, is expected to run about $4,700 to $5,000. Full recovery is expected to take around six to 12 weeks.
The department purchased and trained Officer Bill, who Worthy said will celebrate his fourth birthday on Oct. 15, entirely with community donations.
“The outpouring of support has been amazing,” Worthy said.
Worthy was sworn in as the village’s first K-9 officer and the German shepherd as its first K-9 in October 2016, according to a Canton Repository article dated Oct. 27, 2016.Â A popular fixture in the community, the dog has its own Facebook page called K-9 For Hartville Police. (The unusual name came from his passport and bloodline paperwork.)
But as much as the dog is a beloved member of the force, “he’s a source of true intimidation” to a suspected criminal, according to Dordea. “When he’s snarling and showing his teeth, you know he means business.”
The dog recently helped troopers recover nearly 47 grams of methamphetamine at a traffic stop on Interstate 77.
“He found a compartment up under the right front wheel well,” Dordea said.
Dual trained in drug detection and tracking, “he’s very capable of apprehension,” the chief said. “When our K-9 officer pulls up (to a crime scene), normally we have immediate compliance.”
Local law enforcement officers hoping to keep Officer Bill Stanios strong will be at the Lake High’s stadium at 6 p.m. Friday for the T-shirt sale. Kickoff for the game is at 7 p.m.
Reach Lori at 330-580-8309 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @lsteineckREP