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Hallsville K-9 has surgery on torn ACL

By BY Joe Holloway
Jan. 2, 2013 at 11 p.m.

The Hallsville Police Department's injured canine officer, Dingo, had surgery Wednesday to repair a torn ACL in his back right leg at the Marshall Animal Hospital.

According to Officer Derek Phillips, Dingo's human counterpart in the K-9 unit, the surgery went well.

"The doctors said he went through the surgery great and everything was perfect," he said. "We got him to stand up. He was basically holding his back right leg up, which is what he was doing before, but it's fixed. They said once he starts feeling comfortable he'll start putting his leg down, and start walking on it.

"He was not in happy spirits, but he was awake and he was licking on me."

According to Phillips, Dingo will need a few months of recovery time before he can return to work.

"It won't ever be 100 percent back to normal, but he'll be able to run, jump and play and go back to work within six months," he said. "Basically the first two months he'll have to be kenneled. No running or anything. After that we're going to try to play it by ear and definitely not overstrain anything."

HPD posted a handwritten letter from Phillips on its Facebook page on Saturday expressing his thanks to everyone who donated to help fund Dingo's $2,500 surgery.

Phillips reiterated those thanks Wednesday.

"If I wanted to say anything, it's just a big thank you to all of East Texas," he said. "I used to work in Smith County, and we've gotten donations all the way from people there that have heard about the story.

"It's basically all of East Texas coming together and showing their support for the police and for Dingo."

Phillips said he was especially grateful to Marshall Animal Hospital, who he indicated was willing to work with him on getting the price for Dingo's surgery and rehabilitation as low as possible.

"They really helped us out," he said. "I'm going to have to send them a big thank you card."

He said the city is taking donations from anyone who wants to help pay for the surgery.

"We almost have it," said Phillips. "But it looks like we're still about $500 short."

He indicated that if there is any money leftover after the surgery is paid off, it will go into an account for K-9 medical expenses.

That extra money could come in handy as Phillips indicated that doctors told him Dingo tearing his other ACL is likely.

"If they still want to donate after the surgery is paid for, that's completely fine," he said. "It'll just be something they need to state whenever they donate that they want to put in the K-9 fund."

Those interested in donating can contact Amber Landrum with the City of Hallsville at (903) 668-2313.



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