The Sacramento community is rallying to the side of a Sacramento K9 that was seriously wounded in the line of duty on Friday, May 18.
K9 Bodie suffered one gunshot wound to the jaw and another to the right front paw when pursuing a car theft suspect in Sacramento’s Land Park.
The incident was the result of an earlier stolen car pursuit by the Sacramento Police Department. Soon, the abandoned vehicle was found off Riverside Boulevard and police surrounded the area. K9 Officer Randy Van Dusen and K9 Bodie came upon the fleeing couple.
“A short foot pursuit ensued and the male suspect fired rounds at the canine, striking the canine,” said Sgt. Andrew Pettit with the Sacramento Police. “Fearing for the safety of himself and the other people around, the canine handler fired rounds at the suspect.”
The incident ended with the death of the male suspect, 33-year old Lucus. J. Webb of Chico. The female suspect, 28-year old Leslie McCulley, taken into custody.
Shaken parents picked up their children at Crocker Elementary on Friday afternoon, grateful to Bodie, his partner and the Sacramento Police Department that their children were kept safe from the danger that came all-too-close to the school.
Van Dusen immediately took the dog to the VCA Animal Hospital in Rancho Cordova, where Bodie underwent two surgeries – the second one was to stop bleeding. He was listed in serious condition, but by Tuesday, May 22, Bodie was upgraded from “stable” to “fair” condition. The dog underwent multiple blood transfusions over the weekend, but his blood count is now near normal, so he should not require any further transfusions, according to the Sacramento Police Canine Association’s Facebook Webpage. Bodie faces future surgeries to deal with shrapnel and bone fragments in his face and paw, as well as significant repair to his damaged tongue.
Bodie was able to get out into the sunshine for a brief period of time on Sunday. With the support of his handler, who has not left his side, the dog is rallying.
In a statement released on Facebook on May 23, Van Dusen said, “I want to thank everyone for all the support and well wishes for Bodie!!! I’ve spent every day and night with him on his bed since Friday and the improvement I’ve seen him make is amazing!! Tonight when I walked in out kennel he wagged his tail non stop and jumped up on me to put his paws on my shoulder and lick my face! That’s a long way from driving him to the vet with lights and sirens and begging him to hold on. He truly saved my life in that back yard that day and I can’t thank him enough! Please keep Bodie in your thoughts for a speedy recovery. We’re looking forward to being out there catching bad guys soon!!”
Bodie’s medical expenses may run between $20,000 and $25,000. Offers to help with the K9’s medical expenses are coming in from the community, as are offers to purchase a new K9 for the department. A trained dog, K9 Echo, was purchased for the Sacramento Police Department by the Rotary Club of East Sacramento for $10,000 earlier this year.
K9 teams from both the Sacramento Police Department and the Sacramento County Sheriff often work together to keep the community safe.
Those who wish to make a donation for Bodie’s care can do so by visiting www.spdk9.org. Donations can also be mailed to Sacramento Police K9 Association, 550 Bercut Drive, Sacramento, CA 95811. Checks should be made out to the Sacramento Police K9 Association.