Dr. Dalzell is assisted by board member, Evan Anderson at the 2017 NPDF SoCal K-9 Medical Examinations.
Thanks to the National Police Dog Foundation, each year about 35 K-9s from three Southern California counties gather to receive free medical examinations to ensure optimal health as they serve our communities.
On May 30th-31st, 2017, K-9s and their handlers gathered in Camarillo to undergo a number of examinations: blood screenings, generously provided by the lab of Dr. Chris Frier at the Camino Animal Clinic and funded by the NPDF; dental check-ups from board-certified veterinary dentist, Dr. Robert Furman of Irvine and Santa Barbara; and eye examinations by board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist, Dr. Jeannette da Silva Curiel from Camarillo.
Throughout these two days of examinations, the K-9s are checked by each of these doctors, as well as by Dr. Ron Dalzell, an NPDF co-founder and veterinary partner who arranges the examinations each year. All of the doctors generously offer their time and services at no charge.
The assembly has the atmosphere of a reunion, with K-9s and handlers alike happily awaiting their free care. “It’s really priceless,” says Dep. John Nicolas, the handler of 10-year-old K-9 Rene. “These programs make getting the care really convenient.”
Maribel Feely, owner of 13-year-old retired K-9, Yudy, also expresses her appreciation. “It’s great to get this free treatment. It’s a wonderful program that the NPDF and the vets provide—you get everything.”
Officer Stephen Delauretis of Lompoc agrees that this program is a “tremendous asset,” and notes the particular care of Dr. Dalzell. “Doc is always on site to help us if something happens during training, he’s always on call to help us. He provides a great service.”
Dr. Dalzell runs a limited veterinary practice solely devoted to the care of police K-9s. In addition, he not only organizes these annual exams but also is on hand at the K-9 training sessions. He frequently gives advice and care in emergency situations, acting as a go-between and, according to him, as a “father figure” to the handlers.
“The dogs are so valuable that they really deserve this kind of attention and care,” says Dr. Dalzell. “It’s been my honor to treat them for the last 30 years.”
Dr. Dalzell also credits the efforts of the other volunteer doctors involved, noting the time and services they provide, and gives thanks that “the NPDF is gracious enough to pick up the expenses for the blood work.”
“This is what keeps me going,” he says. After this year’s examinations, he is happy to say that of the 35 K-9s examined, “So far this year all the K-9s are healthy. And our goal is to keep them healthy.”
Written by Nicole Hymovitz
The National Police Dog Foundation would like to thank all the veterinary partners who helped make the 2017 SoCal Medical Examinations another great success. We would also like to thank Evan Anderson, NPDF Board Member, who comes down, all the way from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to assist with the examinations.
A day at the dentist, with Dr. Robert Furman of Irvine and Santa Barbara.
Dr. Jeannette da Silva Curiel from Camarillo, giving a thorough eye examination.
Deputy K’Lynn Jackson and K-9 Zoey, wait patiently for the next examination station.
Deputy John Nicolas and K-9 Rene from Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.
Two long days of hard work, ensuring the health of SoCal’s K-9s.