GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Green Bay K-9 Pyro is standing, sitting and walking under his own power as he recovers from stab wounds.
Green Bay Police released an update on the K-9’s condition Tuesday morning.
Officer Scott Salzmann and his family have been taking Pyro out for “short duration walks” to help him build up his strength, according to the department. Officer Salzmann is Pyro’s handler.
The department posted a short video on Facebook of Pyro walking. CLICK HERE to watch.
“His improvement over the past 24 hours was a big first step for him and we have been told his personality is starting to come back,” reads a statement from Green Bay Police. “While Pyro still has a ways to go, he appears to be responding well to his treatment thus far which is a testament to his toughness and will and to the skill and dedication of his veterinary team at the Animal Referral Center and the many thoughts and prayers he has received from the community.”
Meanwhile, an online fundraiser for K-9 Pyro has topped $30,000 in about a day’s time.
The K-9 Pyro Fundraiser on Facebook has raised $30,205 as of this publication. Due to the enormous outpouring of support, the organizers have had to raise the fundraising goal several times.
CLICK HERE TO DONATE to the Facebook fundraiser for Pyro.
The non-profit Bark N Blue Foundation is collecting donations to cover Pyro’s vet bills and recovery costs. Bark N Blue’s overall mission is to raise funds and get resources for police K-9 programs.
Donations for Pyro are also welcome at Nicolet Bank in Green Bay and the Green Bay Police Department.
Pyro remains under 24-hour specialty care at Fox Valley Animal Referral Center in Appleton.
Pyro required emergency surgery Sunday night to repair “multiple soft tissue injuries to his neck and his esophagus.”
Pyro received blood and plasma transfusions and a temporary tracheostomy due to a blood clot that was preventing him from breathing. Doctors make a hole in the windpipe and insert a tube to allow the animal to breathe.
Pyro was in recovery Monday morning when he suffered complications of a twisted stomach and was taken for a second surgery.
The Belgian Malinois came out of that surgery and was photographed sitting up with his doctors Monday.
“He still has a long way to go as far as recovery. I would say it’s hour-by-hour, day-by day for awhile here. Because of the severity of the wounds. Because of the scar tissue that’s going to form in his esophagus may cause some problems and some complications with him eating, so we’re concerned about that,” Chief Smith said Monday.
Green Bay Police responded to a call around 8:19 p.m. Sunday for a man with a gun on the 1300-block of Western Avenue.
Chief Andrew Smith says the suspect, identified as Sai Vang, refused orders to comply with officers and submit to a lawful arrest. The officers deployed Pyro, who is trained to jump on the suspect and knock him down in these situations.
“Unfortunately, unbeknownst to the officers, this individual was armed with a knife. Mr. Vang used that knife to slash at and stab several times in the throat of Pyro,” Chief Smith says.
Green Bay’s Police Chief says the actions of K-9 Pyro Sunday night likely prevented an officer-involved shooting.
“We won’t know right now what his [Vang’s] motivation was, but we can certainly say the actions of this dog very likely prevented an officer-involved shooting from occurring here in the city of Green Bay,” Smith says.
Officers loaded the injured Pyro into the Bearcat and drove him to Bay East Animal Hospital prior to his transfer to Fox Valley Animal Referral Center. K-9 officers carry a medical kit and officers used a clotting agent in that kit and applied it to Pyro’s neck during transport. Doctors said that saved Pyro’s life.
Chief Smith calls Pyro a hero.
“Very scrappy. He’s very, very tough. I’m told to get him under it took several doses of fentanyl. He just didn’t want to get knocked out so they could perform the surgery. So he is one tough, scrappy dog,” Smith says.
Pyro is two-and-a-half years old. He is a narcotics and tracking dog.
Here’s a list of additional fundraisers for K-9 Pyro:
There will be a K-9 collection at the WBAY Pet Expo (April 12-14) at the Resch Center. PMI says 50 percent of the donations go to the Green Bay K-9 Unit and Pyro and the other 50 percent go to the Brown County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit. CLICK HERE for more information on the WBAY Pet Expo.
Local apparel company Global Recognition is selling a T-shirt featuring the K-9 symbol and police “thin blue line” authorized by the Green Bay Police Department. Click here to see the shirt and how to order.
If you’re not in Green Bay, you can send a check to the Green Bay Police Department. Include “K-9 Donation” in the memo line.
Green Bay Police Department
307 S Adams St
Green Bay, WI 54301
A Team Pyro Fundraiser will be held Thursday, April 11, at Bark and Brew, 2310 Lineville Rd, Suamico. Hours are 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. The business is asking for a suggested $5 donation at the door. CLICK HERE for more information about the event.