K-9 Deputy Athena is one of Pushmataha county's drug dogs, but after dozens of drug operations, she's developed health problems and needs surgery. Now, the Sheriff's office is asking for the community's help.
K-9 Deputy Athena is one of two drug dogs donated to the Pushmataha County Sheriff's Office. Her handler, Deputy Polly Culver, said Athena's assisted in dozens of drug arrests with her 100% accurate snout. But last year, she noticed the two-and-a-half year old canine was in pain.
Last fall, Culver noticed that Athena wasn’t able to do normal activities, like jumping on the bed, and was making whimpering noises.
Earlier this year Athena began to get worse. She was having difficulty even walking so the department took her to the vet. The vet informed them that she was dire need of a double hip replacement. The operation cost ranges from $4,000 to $5,000 for the one hip because of the material that they need to use on her because she's a working dog.
Sheriff Terry Duncan said the cost of Athena's surgery is steep and they're in need of donations. He stated that they trying not to burden the tax payers but they don’t know what they would do without her.
"She's a real asset to our office. You very seldom see a drug dog with her temperament that you can have her around children in schools and stuff, but she's a real professional when it comes to finding the drugs and stuff,” said Sheriff Terry Duncan.
Deputy Athena doesn’t only help the Deputies get the bad guys, she also loves to go to local schools and help teach kids about the effects of drugs.
A benefit will take place on Saturday, March 30th at the Pushmataha County Fairgrounds, in Antlers, starting at 10:00 a.m. There will be cotton candy, popcorn, a bake sale, a cake walk and a silent auction. There will also be photo opportunities for kid of all ages with local Fire Fighters, fire trucks, Push. Co. Ambulance, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Push. Co. Sheriff and Deputies, and of course, K-9 Deputy Athena.
"The donations are what are going to help us with Athena's surgery because we (the department) are so small and not able to afford it," said Culver.
All are invited and encouraged to join in the fun and help Deputy Athena get her much needed surgery. All donations are greatly appreciated. For more information about this event please call Linda Cunningham at 580-298-2475.
Along with the event, donation buckets have been placed in local stores where residents and visitors can make donations to this worthy cause.
If you'd like to help, contact the Pushmataha County Sheriff's Office at (580) 298-2475.