TACOMA, Wash. – Barney, an 11-year-old K-9 officer with the Tacoma Police Department, was rushed to the BluePearl Veterinary Hospital in Tacoma after ingesting powdered methamphetamine while serving a search warrant Tuesday night.
The Lab mix, who has been a K-9 officer since 2010, had a body temperature of 109 and was experiencing hyperthermia and seizures when he reached the hospital, said Dr. Kobi Johnson, a senior clinician with BluePearl.
By Wednesday morning, Barney was gradually becoming more alert and responsive. Doctors will continue to monitor the K-9 officer for any secondary effects from the hyperthermia.
“Thankfully, the Tacoma officers got Barney here very quickly,” said Dr. Johnson. “Methamphetamines are extremely toxic to dogs. At this point, we are cautiously optimistic about Barney’s chances for a full recovery.”
Loretta Cool, a spokesperson for the Tacoma Police Department, said Barney and his handler, Officer Henry Betts, were investigating a narcotics complaint and serving a search warrant around 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Narcotics dogs typically signal the presence of drugs by placing their noses on the substance. In this instance, the drugs were unwrapped and Barney came directly in contact with the powdered methamphetamine, Cool said.
Betts and Barney have worked together since 2010. “He’s a phenomenal dog,” said Betts. “Really just incredible.”
Cool said the entire Tacoma Police Department is wishing Barney a complete and speedy recovery.