SMITHS STATION, AL (WTVM) - A Smiths Station animal hospital is backing the blue by raising money to purchase life-saving equipment for two Phenix City K-9 officers.
Smiths Station Animal Hospital has been caring for K-9 Officer Nim and K-9 Officer Eros, ever since they joined the Phenix City Police Department. The staff at the veterinary clinic consider these animals and their human partners like family.
Now with the public's help, the clinic's staff is hoping to do everything they can to protect these animals in the field. It's easy to see the bond, Phenix City Officer Samuel Oshel shares with his K-9 partner, Eros.
"He's like a son, he stays with me, we are together all the time this is my partner we are on the road together," Officer Oshel said.
It's dangerous work, Eros is a tracking and narcotics K-9 and is the first to reach an armed suspect.
"We are on the front lines, he is taking me to a suspect so he is the front and I am right behind him, so it would be nice to have the equipment to protect him and me," Oshel said.
Dr. Nicole Namie and her staff are raising money to buy Eros a bulletproof vest and two patrol car heat sensors for the Sheppard and his fellow K-9 officer and bomb dog, Nims, to alert officers if their cars overheat.
"It would set off a siren, roll the windows down and also has a pager system on our persons they would be notified if they are out of earshot of the siren," PCPD Sgt. Robert Isabel said.
"This week is the hottest of the summer so people need to know leaving pets in the car is detrimental to their health," Dr. Namie said. "These K-9's stay in the car until the scene is clear and we want them to have heat sensors to keep them safe."
The life-saving equipment costs about $5,000.
To raise the money, the clinic is selling tickets and raffling off a DNA animal testing kit. Your support will help keep these K-9's safe.
"When I got the phone call they wanted to raise money, it just touched me, that somebody wants to take care of my dog and myself," Officer Oshel said.
You can purchase tickets at the Smiths Station Animal Hospital, located on Lee Road 430 near the High School, or call at (334)-297-1050.
You have until Sept. 1 to make a donation. The clinic hopes to present a check to the Phenix City Police Department during an open house on Sept. 2.