Crime

Boise Police K9 Jardo on the mend thanks to local doctors, donor dogs

Jardo on Monday, Nov. 14, returned to WestVet for a checkup after sustaining at least one gunshot wound to the chest on Friday.
Jardo on Monday, Nov. 14, returned to WestVet for a checkup after sustaining at least one gunshot wound to the chest on Friday.

A Boise Police Department K9 on Friday gave new meaning to "working like a dog" when he, along with two human officers, was shot as BPD worked to apprehend a violent suspect.

Jardo, who joined BPD in 2013, was rushed to Garden City's WestVet trauma veterinary hospital with at least one gunshot wound to the chest. There, a team of four doctors (along with some local doggie blood donors) spent just over two hours working to save him.

In addition to having his sternum split for surgery, the Belgian Malinois lost part of his left lung. Still, veterinary surgeon John Chandler is hopeful that it won't affect him much.

"We know that dogs can survive 50 percent loss of total lung volume and that removal of an entire left lung (such as in Jardo) is tolerated well if the right lung is healthy," Chandler said in an email. "Studies have also shown that, in an attempt to restore normal lung capacity, the lungs will 'regenerate.'"

At a Saturday press conference, BPD Chief Bill Bones said it was unclear whether Jardo would be able to return to police work. Chandler was more optimistic.

"We have recommended that he rest for four weeks, then return to light duty (such as drug detection) for four weeks. He should be able to return to full duty in eight weeks," Chandler said.

As a trauma center, WestVet sees cases like this "with relative frequency," Chandler said, calling the staff's response to the incident "pretty remarkable." As emergency responders toiled to help Jardo, the facility's remaining staff kept up with other patients with no gaps in care, Chandler said.

"Unfortunately for dogs, most gunshot wounds to the chest are fatal, but a large component of that is due to the lack of first responders for pets," Chandler said. " Thanks to prior training and planning with us and Dr. Nell Dalton, the BPD veterinarian, the officers transported Jardo to WestVet in time for us to make a difference."

And it wasn't just humans who worked to save Jardo — two dogs also aided in the effort. Myles, a 6-year-old golden retriever, and Cricket, a 5-year-old pit bull, donated blood much in the same way humans do, giving Jardo a life-saving transfusion. Both dogs are pets of WestVet staff members.

Jardo was sent home with his BPD handler on Saturday, according to BPD tweets.

The officers injured in Friday’s shootout also were hospitalized.Cpl. Chris Davis of BPD's Special Operations Unit was released Saturday from Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center after being shot once. Another officer, who has not yet been identified, was shot multiple times and remains in critical condition at Saint Alphonsus.

"On behalf of the WestVet staff, we would like to send our thoughts and prayers to Officer Davis, the officer still in the hospital, and their families," Chandler said. "We would also like to thank the BPD for their great work."

"Jardo: 1, bad guys: 0," Chandler said.

Nicole Blanchard: 208-377-6410, @NMBlanchard

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