Officer Boris, a Belgian Malinois bred and trained for police work and a valued member of the Asheville Police K9 Unit, is well on his way to recovery after a complicated surgery to repair his ACL performed by Dr. David Crouch of Western Carolina Veterinary Surgery. Handler Officer Scott Muse reports that his canine partner is back on his duties as a patrol dog which includes narcotics, tracking the missing or suspects, and retrieving evidence. Apprehension work, where the dog pulls a suspect to the ground, will be the final stage of Boris’s recovery, expected in the early fall.
“Boris is an athlete,” reports Muse. “He runs at 33 mph and turns on a dime, and is notorious for jumping off high places in pursuit, because dogs have poor depth perception. The adrenaline runs so high when he’s working, that he wouldn’t exhibit injury immediately. We noticed him limping in his kennel.”
Dr. David Crouch reports that tremendous advances have been made in recent years in canine ACL repair. “Canine knees are not shaped like human knees, so we actually screw a metal brace into the bone,” he said. “Recovery from this surgery is 12 to 14 weeks, and the most difficult part for an athletic dog is to have limited movement in his crate for the first six weeks, to allow the bone to heal.” Recovery training after that was gradual: short leash walks, then 4 weeks on a long leash, tracking on good terrain, and swimming in the pond at the Azalea Road dog park as part of family outings. “Boris is a member of our family,” Muse says. “He’s not aggressive. In fact we use him at all our demos with schoolkids.”
Muse reports that Boris has contributed to the economy of Asheville with his outstanding record in recovery of drug money, almost $1,000,000 so far, of which 80% comes back to Asheville. “We use it to purchase equipment such as vehicles and weapons,” he says, “and the money also provides training for the police.”