Dr. Ronald M. Kraft, Dr. Michael Herman and staff member Wendy Uba of in Lower Providence Township were honored for dedication to the Lower Providence Police Department’s K-9 Program. An award was presented on June 7, during the Board of Supervisors meeting.
Kraft said in 2004, when the police department acquired two new police dogs, his practice made an alliance to offer discount and in-kind services to assist with the dogs and their care. The dogs, German Shepherds, joined the force when they were about 13 month old.
“We reached out to our professional contacts to get things like free heartworm and free tick medication and we agreed to discount other services like vaccines and well-check-ups,” he said.
The two dogs, Shadow and Baco, are very special dogs, Kraft said. Baco is certified for special patrol and for detection of explosives, while Shadow, specializes in detection of narcotics.
Baco recently retired from the force. His handler Officer Kenneth Duelley also retired from the force.
Shadow continues his police work but has had some precarious health issues, said Kraft. He suffered acute kidney failure in 2005 and his health needs also included a root canal in one of his front teeth.
“It was very vital to save his canine front tooth,” said Kraft. “This is very important for a police dog. They are taught to grab and hold and to look fierce and threatening to a criminal. Without front teeth, he really can’t do his job.”
Cpl. Matthew Kuhnert, Shadow’s handler, said the help of Kraft, Herman, other veterinarians, and the entire hospital staff, has kept Shadow in “peak working shape” during his tenure with the police department.
“Sometimes I think Shadow would rather live at the vet hospital that at home with me,” he said. “As soon as I pull in the parking lot of Trooper Veterinary Hospital, Shadow’s excitement starts. Inside, Shadow stands up on the front counter to greet the girls working the desk. When I bring Shadow in for boarding, the kennel staff tells me how excited they are to see Shadow. And, when I’m away it’s not uncommon for the staff at the vet to send me pictures, or call me with stories regarding Shadow and his antics.”
Kuhnert remains grateful and offers sincere gratitude.
“On more than one occasion they saved Shadow’s life,” he added. “I owe Dr. Kraft, Dr. Herman and the rest of the doctors and staff of the Trooper Veterinary Hospital my sincere thanks for being the best at what they do.”
In total, over the past eight years, Kraft estimates the veterinary hospital has provided over $8,000 of veterinary services to Baco and Shadow.
“It was something we were happy to do,” he said. “We are proud to be partners in the community.”