Chandler K-9 officer fighting brain tumor diagnosis

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Bronco needs radiation to fight off a brain tumor. (Source: youcaring.com) Bronco needs radiation to fight off a brain tumor. (Source: youcaring.com)
Berner bought his partner from the department, ready to take on the fight to save him. (Source: Chandler Police Department) Berner bought his partner from the department, ready to take on the fight to save him. (Source: Chandler Police Department)
An online fundraiser has been set up to pay for Bronco's treatments. (Source: youcaring.com) An online fundraiser has been set up to pay for Bronco's treatments. (Source: youcaring.com)

A Valley K-9 officer is receiving lifesaving care to fight off a brain tumor that ended his career. 

Every day for the last three years, Chandler police officer Eric Berner and K-9 Bronco have worked side by side. 

"He's my best friend," said Berner. "He's my buddy." 

In late October, something was wrong. 

"I went to check him and he was in full seizure," said Berner. 

Bronco has more than a dozen seizures that night. "It was bad. It was totally bad," said Berner.  

The 8-year-old Belgian Malinois was immediately taken off duty and rushed to the vet clinic for testing. They found a tumor the size of a small grape on Bronco's brain.

"I think Bronco was fortunate his tumor was this small and has a really good chance of doing very well following the treatment," said Dr. Eric Boshoven with Arizona Veterinary Oncology

Berner bought his partner from the department, ready to take on the fight to save him. But he was unprepared for the $12,000 price tag that comes with his radiation. 

"It was quite expensive and shocking, to be honest with you," said Berner.  

Bronco will never work again. 

"He was a great police officer and he'll miss it big time," said Berner.  

But treatment should extend his life at least another two years. 

"He absolutely would give up his life in a second to save me," said Berner. "And that dedication deserves our dedication back to them."

An online fundraiser has been set up to pay for Bronco's treatments. 

Berner says he's grateful for the numerous large donations have already come in from groups like Back the Blue Pet Rescue, the Perseus Foundation, Retired Paws, CLASA (The Chandler Lieutenant and Sergeants Association) and Livi and Joe Kacic.

Berner expects more medical expenses in the future for Bronco's continued care. 

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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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