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K9 Chief eye surgery successful; coming home tomorrow, GoFundMe setup to cover medical costs

Written by MLWA 7 Staff

MOSES LAKE — The Moses Lake Police Department provided an update on K9 Chief Tuesday and he continues to make an amazing recovery. 🐾

K9 Chief has surgery on Tuesday night to remove his left eye that was destroyed when he was allegedly shot by a robbery suspect, who was shot and killed by K9 Chief’s handler, Officer Nick Stewart on Friday night. The surgery went well and there were no complications, Moses Lake police stated Tuesday night.

“Assuming nothing changes over night, he is scheduled to be released tomorrow morning from WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Pullman,” Moses Lake police said.

K9 Chief will be returning from Pullman on Wednesday afternoon with a well-deserved police escort that will involve multiple agencies.

“As is befitting of a hero, K9 Chief will receive a police escort from the hospital by K9 handlers from Spokane, Spokane County, Pullman PD, Grant County Sheriff's Office and Moses Lake PD. We expect him to arrive in Moses Lake somewhere between 1230 and 1 pm tomorrow, and the procession will head down Pioneer Way from I-90 to the police department,” Moses Lake police said.

Moses Lake police have received a lot of questions about K9 Chief returning to duty and while he is making an amazing recovery, if he isn’t able to return as a Moses Lake police K9, he has a forever home with his handler.

“If he must be retired, rest assured that he will enjoy a cushy house job as a pet in Ofc. Stewart's home,” Moses Lake police said. “Every dollar spent on him, every minute spent training him was worth it for one 12 second event in which he saved his handler's life. He will have a retirement befitting a hero,” officials added.

The Moses Lake Police Department created a GoFundMe to cover K9 Chief’s medical costs on Tuesday night. Within an hour, the campaign has raised $6,860 of the $20,000 campaign goal as of press time. K9 Chief was insured at the time of the shooting but the insurance has a cap and does not cover air transportation costs, according to police.

“After the suspect was secured, K9 Chief was quickly removed from the scene. Officer Stewart had dispatch make an emergency call to our veterinarian who med Officer Stewart and K9 Chief at her office. K9 Chief was in serious condition and had lost a large amount of blood,” the GoFundMe campaign says. “K9 Chief was airlifted to the Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital for emergency care,” the GoFundMe campaign added.

It ended with, “K9 Chief is considered a HERO by all those involved in the incident. He took a bullet directed at Officer Stewart, possibly saving Officer Stewart's life. K9 Chief is the epitome of what a great K9 should be and we are all praying he can return to service and continue to serve the Moses Lake community.  The funds generated through this account will go to help pay the medical bills, transportation costs and recovery efforts for K9 Chief. They will also go toward possible retraining of K9 Chief, should he not be able to continue as a K9 Officer, as well as to purchase a new K9 his replacement, if necessary.”

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