SIDNEY — After a month off of regular duty due to an injury, Sidney Police Officer K-9 Kilo is back on the job.
The 7-year-old German Shepherd broke his tail in mid February when he was off duty at home. Following the injury and two misdiagnoses, Kilo’s tail became badly swollen and infected. Two different 24-hour medic veterinarians thought Kilo simply had a “hot spot” on his tail and prescribed medication and sent him home, Kilo’s handler, Officer Jim Jennings explained. The problem wasn’t getting better, and about a week after the injury occurred and subsequent infection set in, Kilo’s regular, local vet found that his tail was actually broken. At that point it had to be amputated. He then needed time to heal before returning to work.
Jennings thinks Kilo broke his tail while in their back yard when it got caught between two slats of their privacy fence and then took off running, causing his tail to snap.
“We noticed his tail was swollen and he kept licking it quite a bit,” Jennings said, “… and after the first vet, who didn’t think it was broken, just had a hot spot, but a few days later it kept getting worse and we took his to a different vet that also thought it was a hot spot. But after the third local vet looked at him, one we use here local, they did an X-Ray and noticed it was almost a compound fracture, (vertebrae in the tail) was up on top of each other.
A hot spot, Jennings said is a very irritated spot, to the point almost infection. He was told by the first two vets that Kilo would keep licking his tail until it was healed and was given medication. When treatment didn’t see to help and his entire tail was inflamed and not getting better after the second vet visit, Jennings took him to the third vet on Feb. 23. Then on Feb. 26, Kilo went back for the procedure to amputate his tail.
“They say it takes about two weeks for recovery, but because he is so hyper and amped up, we gave him medication to make him mellow and calm down; it didn’t work,” Jennings said. “He was still all over the place and at his tail, even with a cone. He tore the stitched out. So, they had to re-open the wound, restitch it and then staple it.”
Around the same time, Kilo also had three teeth pulled; three root canals on the same tooth, due to the size of his teeth; and had two upper, right canine teeth reinforced with titanium caps. He now has two silver-colored canine teeth on the upper right side of his mouth.
“He chews so much, he had to have three teeth pulled and three root canals — because his teeth are so large. He had that done on March 23,” Jennings said of Kilo’s dental work.
Kilo has been a member of Sidney Police Department’s (SPD) K-9 team since he was 11 months old, after coming from Germany. Following arrival to the United States, he, and then later, his fellow K-9 Officer Kash both went through training at Von Der Haus Gill German Shepherds Inc., which is owned by Master Trainer Al Gill, of Wapakoneta.
Kilo lives with the Jennings family, and is with Jennings basically 24-hours a day, whether at home, on patrol and training at work, or in his specially adapted transport kennel in the rear of Jennings’s police cruiser. Jennings said Kilo loves his job and always wants to be working. Kilo stayed home some after his procedure or on days when his tail was especially sore, but most of the time, he still accompanied Jennings everyday in his vehicle during their 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. work shift.
“When I’m getting ready and put on my uniform, he goes crazy, because he knows it’s time to go to work,” Jennings said. “Work if fun; it’s like a game for him.”
Kilo has assisted in 89 narcotics finds, Police Chief Will Balling’s annual report on the SPD revealed. Kilo also assisted with seizing four vehicles and $488,880 in cash. Jennings said in one drug bust, Kilo found 2.2 pounds of tar heroin and 50 pounds of marijuana.
All during the interview with the Sidney Daily News, Kilo constantly scanned his space, impatiently, often giving vocal cues and nudging Jennings to get back to work. He appeared bored standing around the SPD, but happy and healthy.
“He is now 100% now,” Jennings said. “He loves to work. When his collar is off he is kind of a house pet, but when the collar is on, he wants to work constantly.”