RUSSIAVILLE, Ind. -- A small Indiana police department is raising money to pay for treatment for its K9 officer, after the dog was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Kayos, an eight-year-old Belgian Malinois, has been with Deputy Town Marshal Randy VanNatter for almost his entire life. He specializes in drug sniffing, but also provides much-needed security, since the small town has only two people on its police force.
"With him here, it gave me an option to have a backup. ... My backup here sometimes could be ten minutes away from the county," VanNatter said.
Two weeks ago, Kayos got sick on the job and VanNatter noticed that he was acting abnormally.
"We started noticing that he wasn’t eating (well) and he was losing some weight, so we took him in and he had lost seven pounds," VanNatter said.
Doctors found a mass in Kayos' intestines and after some testing, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
"It came back as definitely lymphoma, which is a very common form of cancer I guess in dogs," VanNatter said.
Right now, Kayos is on medicine that has given him energy and allowed him to return to work, but he'll need chemo in order to live longer and potentially go into remission.
That treatment will cost a lot of money, and the town has only a small K9 fund, so VanNatter created a fundraising page online to ask for help. He's already been blown away by donations.
"I want to thank everybody or anybody who has donated in any way, shape, or form, or has just said a prayer for him," VanNatter said.
Kayos has been beating the odds his entire life- unlike most K9's that come from Europe, he's a hometown boy who was born in Indiana.
"We’ve been pretty proud that he gets out and does the same things that those high dollar dogs do," VanNatter said.
He estimates that Kayos has helped make at least 75 arrests in his career, and is hoping that he can beat the odds again, in order to live a comfortable end of his live, doing what he loves to do.
"He’s a working dog. That’s all he knows and that’s all he wants to do," VanNatter said.
The fundraising page for Kayos is at the link here.