Sandy Springs, Ga. – Kevin Winkler, DVM, DACVS, and the team at BluePearl Pet Hospital in Sandy Springs, Ga., have saved the life of K-9 Officer D’Jango who was shot as officers exchanged gunfire with a suspect, Tuesday, October 15. This comes two years after D’Jango beat cancer and underwent treatment in the same BluePearl hospital.
Dr. Winkler, who is a veterinary surgeon, specializing in soft tissue and orthopedic surgery, was the first veterinarian to operate on D’Jango when he was rushed into BluePearl.
D’Jango came in with a gunshot wound in the lower abdomen and right rear leg; his leg had been fractured by the bullet,” explained Dr. Winkler. “When first admitted, his life was absolutely in question. Just as it is in human trauma surgery, the goal is to give the animal a chance to survive, and that’s exactly what we did.”
Police departments from nearby areas honored D’Jango’s valiancy by holding a vigil at the hospital. Just as they do for injured human officers, the officers sat outside of D’Jango’s kennel and in the hospital hallway for 24 hours a day.
D’Jango ultimately underwent two surgeries, including a leg amputation, and was released Saturday, October 19, to recover at home with his handler, Dekalb County Police Sergeant Frank Cusimano.
Today, D’Jango is recovering well, having both his appetite and playful energy back. D’Jango will be retired from service due to his injuries.
Though he has been retired from police work, D’Jango should have a full recovery with a high quality of life at home,” said Dr. Winkler.
With the expert specialty and emergency care of BluePearl veterinarians, D’Jango and Sergeant Frank Cusimano will remain side by side for years to come.
“We thank the doctors and staff at BluePearl,” Dekalb County Police said in a statement.
Watch CBS News coverage of the story here.