University of Wisconsin–Madison

The Long Leash of the Law

Some of the most important members of Wisconsin’s police departments walk on four legs. Canine — or “K9” — cops perform crowd control, sniff out drugs and bombs, track suspects and missing persons, and help with community outreach.

But police animals need all the same care that private-citizen animals do, and that care has to be paid for either by the public or by officers out of their own funds.

The School of Veterinary Medicine wants to do its part to help those animals that work for our safety. In 2016, it sent letters to 130 law enforcement agencies around the state, offering them a 50 percent discount on veterinary services — and those inside Dane County will also receive a $5,000 credit.

“To really recognize the crucial role that police dogs play in law enforcement, we wanted to be a more intentional sponsor for them, and in a formal way,” said Ruthanne Chun DVM’91, the director of the UW Veterinary Clinic, in a newsletter to the school’s alumni.

By helping to provide medical care to police dogs, the school is helping departments to devote resources to other areas, including training and equipment for the animals.

It’s just one more way that UW faculty and staff are working to share the university’s benefits around the state — and especially with those who risk their lives to protect its residents. It’s the kind of care that keeps Wisconsin moving All Ways Forward.

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