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Retired K-9 Recovers from a Health Scare

Iivan patrolling at San Diego Airport

Retired K-9 Recovers from a Health Scare.

K-9 Iivan, an almost 14-year-old Black Labrador, retired from the San Diego Harbor Police Department in 2016. He held a variety of jobs, including patrolling the San Diego International Airport. Iivan also worked with explosive detection, sweeping motorcades, hotels, and even conference centers. In fact, he was quite the high-profile K-9—he performed sweeps for many dignitaries, including candidates from two Presidential elections. As Corporal Mike Whittaker of the San Diego Harbor Police Department explains, Iivan was truly “the face of our K-9 unit.”

Though Iivan has a more relaxed lifestyle now, he recently began to display some concerning symptoms. Whittaker describes that Iivan “appeared lethargic and in pain, not wanting to go for his evening walk.” He was first sent to his primary vet for X-rays at the Scripps Parkway Veterinary Hospital, but clear that more work needed to be done. He was brought to the VCA Animal Specialty Group, where he received an ultrasound, blood work, and even stayed overnight for observation. He was diagnosed with a severe urinary tract infection, and was treated with a month’s course of antibiotics.

Iivan was a very important member of the force, and the longest serving K-9 in the Harbor K-9 program. NPDF values K-9’s by supporting them in all stages of their lives, even through retirement. As Whittaker explains, “we were not prepared for the high veterinary bill, as Iivan has been healthy at all his regular check ups.” Health issues are expensive and unpredictable—NPDF is glad to have eased the financial burden of caring for Iivan.

The National Police Dog Foundation is delighted to report that Iivan has recovered from his infection, and has “bounced back to his happy self.” The Whittaker family is very grateful for NPDF’s financial assistance, as Iivan has “truly become part of the family.”


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