HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A nonprofit organization donated advanced medical kits to the Tampa Police Department that could help treat K9’s at a scene.
TPD received four Buddy Bags. According to the K9 Defender Fund, each bag contains close to $300 worth of medical supplies.
“These Buddy Bags provide that critical equipment that’s needed to help save their lives before we can get them to an emergency vet,” Sgt. Alex Thiel said.
Sgt. Thiel is in charge of the TPD K9 unit. He said their K9 handlers have basic medical kits, but these kits provide them with more advanced supplies. The Buddy Bag includes a blanket, pet tourniquet and oxygen mask.
“There should be one available throughout each shift that we have so in case we do need it, we can get to it rather quickly,” Sgt. Thiel said.
Master Patrol Officer Bridget Coyman and her partner, K9 Jagger, respond to calls. Many times they encounter violent criminals.
“We’re working with each other. I’m helping him, keeping him safe and happy and he’s doing the same for me and the other officers out on the street that I’m working with,” Officer Coyman said.
She hopes she never has to use the Buddy Bag, but she is glad they are available to their unit.
“If we did (have to use them), we know that we pretty much have any tool to use available in this bag that would, at least, help us get the dog to the vet and give them a fighting chance,” Master Patrol Officer Bridget Coyman said.
This year, the K9 Defender Fund also donated the Buddy Bag to the New Port Richey Police Department, the Lakeland Police Department and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. The nonprofit told ABC Action News the officers had to be trained on the equipment with a local veterinarian.