PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Remember K-9 Karl? He was shot with a pellet gun while taking down a suspect involved in a standoff a few weeks ago. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office says he's doing great and is already back on duty!
That would not have been possible without the help of veterinarian Dr. Bernie Mangone. He was the one who stitched up Karl when he was injured.
"He came out in the middle of the night and met us at the hospital and he was able to give him X-rays and took care of us," said Karl's handler, Deputy Sheriff Mario Gonzalez.
On Friday, Karl once again visited Dr. Mangone at Palm Glen Animal Hospital and got his stitches out. The veterinarian is a lifelong animal lover. He's been a vet for 24 years and has always wanted to help others in situations when they can't help themselves.
Dr. Mangone works with working dogs in a number of Valley agencies in Phoenix, Avondale, and, of course, MCSO.
"The working dogs tend to be much better behaved," Mangone said. "They’re certainly trained extremely well, but by the same token, they are trained for a specific purpose and they only pick dogs that have really high drive."
He also assists in animal cruelty investigations, which can be horrible to see.
"The one saving grace is most of them are associated with mental illness. We’re dealing mostly with hoarding cases so the people really aren’t purposefully trying to hurt the animals although that is the end result," Dr. Mangone said.
That isn't always the case though, but Dr. Mangone says it's gratifying to know that the people who are penalized won't do it again. Working closely with deputies and K-9s like Karl is an honor for the veterinarian.
"They are out there risking their lives every day," Dr. Mangone said. "To be able to go out and support them is fantastic."