A South Carolina K-9 officer named Loki is recovering from a car crash that nearly took his life.
During a pursuit, Deputy Sardarius Henderson of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department was met with a car that blew through a traffic light, causing him to lose control of the vehicle. The vehicle rolled over and hit a utility pole, and in doing so, flung Loki from the back seat.
He was found about 20-30 feet away from the wreckage unable to move. Loki was rushed to an emergency veterinary clinic via an animal ambulance and immediately went into surgery. He had sustained a fracture along the C1, C2, C3 and C4 vertebrae.
“It is a pretty substantial injury,” Sheriff Steve Mueller told WYFF News.
Luckily, the veterinary surgeons were able to repair the damage to Loki’s vertebrae.
Since the crash occurred, the sheriff’s department has partnered with the charity Protecting K9 Heroes to offset the cost of medical bills. So far, people from all over the country have raised over $11,000 — including $1,500 from an anonymous donor.
It’s not just funds that are pouring in; words of hope and encouragement are also aplenty on the fundraising page created on GoFundMe.
“Prayers for Loki and his handler for quick healing,” one patron commented.
Although Loki was severely injured in the crash, his handler was brought to the hospital and luckily released shortly afterward, according to the GoFundMe page.
“His handler is recovering with non-life-threatening injuries,” the fundraiser reads. “The bond between this team is unbelievable, and Loki is like a child to him. We are raising funds to offset all medical costs for this department.”
While K-9 officers play a pivotal role in police work, they are also a huge boost to company morale and part of the handler’s family. Officers spend all day, every day with their K-9 officers and it’s heartbreaking when something goes wrong on the job.
Luckily, Loki is expected to recover, although it’s unclear whether he will be able to go back to work on the police force. Mueller said that aspect will be revisited in the next month or so.
While there are still many uncertainties following the crash, it is clear that Loki is so loved and has a community rallying behind him and pulling for him to make a full recovery.