A police officer was devastated over the possibility of losing his K9 partner when the dog was diagnosed with a genetic disorder. However, giving up his K9 was the last thing he would do. Determined to stay together with his faithful companion, he pleaded for help online.
University Hospitals police officer Matt Suster, of Cleveland, Ohio, met his K9 partner, General, around two years ago, and they have formed a close bond since.
This summer, Suster was facing a dilemma after he noticed something odd with his K9.
“I was clocking out and I told him to sit, and he started to, but then stopped,” Suster told Fox 8. “That’s unusual because he usually does what I ask. So then we went to get in the car he jumped in and he yelped. I knew then something was wrong. He was hurt.”
UH's K9 officer, General, took a quick break to show his support for the Cleveland Indians! #RallyTogether #UHProud(General stays photo-ready thanks to the generous care of Diamond Cut Dog Grooming School!)
Suster took General to the veterinarian. Later, an MRI scan determined that his K9 partner had lumbosacral stenosis, a genetic disorder that leads to a narrowing of his vertebral canal, causing the nerves in his back to be pinched.
As a result of the disease, General was forced into an early retirement. “We were basically told he could not work again,” said Suster.
Suster was devastated. He was left with two difficult choices.
He could either return the K9 or pay $5,000 out of his own pocket to keep him. And if General were returned, he would either be re-homed or put down.
It was unimaginable for Suster to part with General, a dog he’s grown to love.
“That was probably the worst feeling I’ve ever felt. There’s nothing like possibly losing your partner,” he said. “It’s kind of like trying to give up one of your kids. It’s just not gonna happen.”
Meet General, our UH Police Department’s K9 officer! General was born in the Czech Republic and recruited to train with…
Giving him up was the last thing Suster would do. He was not going to turn his back on his faithful partner.
Suster then created a GoFundMe page with a heartfelt message to raise the $5,000 needed to keep his sick K9.
In his GoFundMe post, he explained: “General is not only my partner, but has become a part of my family. At this point General and I have formed a bond that is indescribable and I can’t imagine letting him go.”
We are sad to say goodbye to our sweet friend and loyal UH K9 Officer, General. General is being forced into early…
Within 26 days, 213 people helped donate a total of $7,460, exceeding Suster’s goal.
“Giving never felt so great,” wrote one person who donated. “Good health to you, General.”
Thanks to all the kindhearted donors, Suster was able to keep General. The additional funds he received will be used to help other retired K9s. “I’d like to help out other retired K9s,” he said.
It’s great to have a happy ending like this one, where Suster and General are able to stay together! We hope General can enjoy his retirement—and many belly rubs—he’s worked hard for it.
Watch the video: