Hingham Police are thanking the community for an outpouring of support and the donation of more than $13,000 to help pay for surgery and recovery expenses for an injured police dog.
Police said the dog was injured during a training exercise, and required an expensive surgery and time off to recuperate.
“The surgery and recovery costs totaled over $3,500,” said Sergeant Steven Dearth in a release. “The routine veterinary costs and food for the K9 program are funded through donations. The surgery expenses exceeded the amount available and the community came out to raise funds for the surgery.”
Over the last three months, the public went above and beyond. Over $13,600 was raised from individuals, businesses, community, and civic groups. The funding will not only cover the expenses related to the past surgery for police dog Axel, but will cover any future k9 medical expenses.
“The outpouring of support from our community and beyond has been heartwarming,” said Police Chief Michael Peraino. “This shows the close relationship that we continue to have with the community.”
Police said donations came in from across the country, with over 70 letters, cards, and donations filtering in to the station since the news of Axel’s injury and surgery costs reached social media.
One of the most memorable donations came in from a 10-year-old boy who is deaf. He included a photo of his own German Shepherd service dog, also named Axel, alongside a handwritten letter and a $16 cash donation that he had saved up.
Axel has since recovered from the surgery and is back to work.
K9 Officer James Foss had initially paid for the surgery out of his own pocket. In May, he said he wasn’t concerned about the cost, and that the community has always stepped up in the past.
Yet the level of support was surprising and touching, he said.
“People have gone out of their way to stop me on the street just to ask how Axel was doing,” Foss said. ”I’m truly humbled by the amount of generosity and support shown for my partner.”
For more updates on Axel and the entire Hingham Police Department, follow them on twitter.