Captain Mike Hansen of Wallowa County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Unit is asking the community for help in treating the county's most experienced local search dog so "he can go back to work finding lost persons."
Kai, a 4-year-old Karelian Bear dog with extensive search and rescue training with his handler, Glenn McDonald of Joseph, is currently undergoing treatment for cancer.
In late July a tumor was discovered on Kai and has been under the care of the Washington State University Veterinary Hospital since the first of August.
So far he has had two major cancer surgeries, and started 19 days of radiation treatment at WSU on Aug. 25.
Kai has a good chance of a complete recovery, and could be ready to go back to work in about six weeks. However, Kai's veterinary bills will be about $12,000.
Anyone wishing to help with Kai's treatment can make a tax-free donation to the Search Dog Program of Wallowa County Search and Rescue at Wallowa County Courthouse, 101 S. River St., Suite 101, Enterprise, OR 97828.
Kai has logged over 1200 hours of training, in Oregon, Montana and Wyoming.
"During the course of his training, Kai has followed about 200 tracks, covering over 50 miles of track and searched over 1000 acres during wilderness air scent training", said McDonald.
He was scheduled for his final certification training test in September, so that he could go out on searches for units outside the county if necessary.
"A search dog can increase the chances of finding a lost child or adult quickly," said Hansen, adding that one dog team can do the work of about 50 searchers.
He requests the communities help by donating for Kai's medical expenses.