Rural police department asking for help for K9 officer after unexpected medical bills

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SHIRLEY, Ind. (Dec. 3, 2015)-- A central Indiana police officer is on the mend. But, this cop has four legs and a tail and came dangerously close to dying a few weeks ago.

Now the Shirley Police Department is asking for help for the beloved K9 comrade.

“He’s very active,” said Brian Pryor, Assistant Chief, Shirley Police Department.

Charon, 6, was up and moving Thursday, while still recovering. It’s a far cry from November 18, when the German Shepherd became deathly ill.

“The dog was doing circles. His head was down, tongue hanging out. I realized the dog wasn’t acting normal,” said Pryor.

Pryor is Charon’s partner. He quickly took him to the vet and found out the dog’s stomach flipped. Veterinarians said it can happen in larger breed dogs, when the stomach gets filled with air and then turns. It is a life-threatening condition.

Veterinarians told Pryor that Charon was 40 minutes away from death.

“All I knew was my dog is coming home with me.” He said, “It was very emotional, very emotional, because I didn’t know what to do.”

Luckily, Charon pulled through fine, but the surgery set the department back $4,500. Charon is a self-funded canine, paid for by fundraisers and community donations.

Charon works mainly in Hancock and Henry Counties, but also serves on the meth suppression section with Indiana State Police.

Pryor turned online for help.

“My wife and I sat down and started a GoFundMe page,” he said.

In ten days, the department’s seen almost $3,000 in contributions.

“He’s got a lot of support from the area, and I had a guy call yesterday. And he’s looking at doing a large donation as well, so hopefully that will come through,” said Mike Harrison, Shirley Police Chief.

Pryor said he hopes the department will reach their goal, to keep his other half on the job and healthy.

“You work with the same person every day in and day out. You have that same bond,” he said, “That’s my partner. We go clear a building. We go clear a building together.”

Pryor said any money raised that’s more than the amount of the surgery expenses will go into the fund for long-term care of Charon.

Donations for the dog’s care can also be mailed to the Shirley Police Department, 409 Main Street, P.O. Box 90, Shirley, Indiana, 47384.

Charon will stay off the streets for the next couple weeks as he continues to recover.