DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) – A retired Broward Sheriff’s Office K-9 with a debilitating condition received a wheelchair to help him move around and enjoy his golden years.
Bolo, a 12-year-old German shepherd, retired from the force in 2017 and doesn’t move as well on his own.
“It’s called degenerative myelopathy, and I’ve been told it’s similar to ALS with people,” BSO Deputy Charlie Young said. “The signals don’t get from the brain back through the spine.”
The canine has lost control of its hind legs, but Young, Bolo’s partner, said that has not affected the canine’s personality.
“Eventually, I’m told it will start to make its way up the body,” Young said. “He’s still a dog, and he wants to go out and wants to explore things.”
Around four weeks ago, a friend saw how Bolo’s condition had deteriorated, did some research and found a wheelchair for the canine. The wheelchair came in while Young was on vacation.
“While I’m away, I’m seeing videos of him running again — something I hadn’t seen him do in almost a year,” Young said. “It was nice. A lot of happy tears.”
Seeing the canine run again reminded Young of the nine years he worked with Bolo — a friendly dog but fierce when necessary.
When the canine retired, he became the sole responsibility of Young, which can get expensive.
The wheelchair cost Young around $500, but he said K-9 Cause with the Sheriff’s Foundation has accepted Bolo’s case and will help offset some of that cost.
“Here’s an animal that’s dedicated his life to helping serve the community,” Young said. “He found dozens and dozens of really bad criminals. He helped make the county safe for people that live here. He made it safe for people that come visit, and he deserved to have that in his retirement.”
Nowadays, Bolo spends his time relaxing at home enjoying retired life and trying to keep up with his five brothers and sisters.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.