CORYDON, Iowa -- Wayne County's best drug enforcement officer is on the mend.
K-9 Officer Deny has helped take $130,000 worth of drugs off the streets, and she’ll be back at it again after a little down time.
The 8-year-old dog plays an essential role at the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and has for years. She does everything from helping to find drugs, to search and rescue operations, to officer protection.
“If we’re out on the streets, she’s able to protect us, be our backup essentially. So in these smaller communities, like we are, our backup is half an hour away sometimes. So it’s kind of nice to have that backup in the backseat,” said Deputy Garrett Abel.
But the sheriff’s office almost lost that backup a couple of weeks ago.
“We had seen a lot of weight loss, and the dog just wasn’t doing well,” Dr. Roxanne Jacobson said. “You could see a lot of her bony prominences you could see her rib cage, but she seemed to be bright and wanted to be active. She just didn’t have much energy.”
The Iowa Veterinary Referral Center in Des Moines said Deny had foreign material in her body.
“It looked to me like it was an obstruction in the small intestine. So one area of bowel that was obstructed,” said Dr. Christine Adams. “I know the dog had been having clinical signs for a while and so to have that be going on that long and to have a bowel that didn’t rupture. We were really lucky.”
It was a piece of rubber Deny swallowed after chewing her water bowl.
The operation to remove the object cost more than $4,000, money the sheriff’s office doesn't have. So the vet took care of the bill.
“Fortunately, our operation is large enough. Occasionally we can take losses in the pursuit of doing the right thing,” said Paul Hanika, administrator for IVRC.
Now, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office has a member of their family back where she belongs, feeling 100 percent.
“She stays with me and my family 24/7. She stays by my side, so essentially she was another kid in our family. The kids play with her and the wife does, and we were beside ourselves not knowing what to do with that situation,” Abel said.
The sheriff's office hopes Deny will be back to work in the next three or four weeks.