VCA Animal Hospital equipped local police dogs with overdose-reversing naloxone

VCA Boston Road Animal Hospital in Springfield donated naloxone kits to police dog handlers

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) –  A local animal hospital provided man’s best friend with a valuable tool on Tuesday.

“He’s my partner and he’s going to protect me and protect my life,” Chicopee Police Officer Ryan Romano said.

That exact reason is why more than a dozen officers from western Massachusetts attended a training session at VCA Boston Road Animal Hospital that could help save their police dog’s life.

The group of officers were taught how to properly administer naloxone to their police dogs in case their partners ingested opioids during a drug raid or search. Naloxone reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.

Administering naloxone could quickly reverse a potentially deadly situation until an officer can get their police dog further treatment. Officers told 22News they feel confident about giving their dog an injection if the situation does occur, due to the training they received at VCA Animal Hospital.

“To actually do it and administer it to a canine was great,” Romano said. “Definitely makes me more comfortable to be able to do it to my canine. It was awesome, an awesome class.”

Dr. Amy Alwood led the session and said that it is important to provide classes like these to give back to those who keep us safe.

“They mean a lot to our community, they mean a lot to these officers, and they give so much and serve and put their own lives at risk and on the line,” Alwood said. “So it’s our job to help protect them.”

In addition to training, VCA donated naloxone kits for all officers who attended the session. Massachusetts State Police officers already carry naloxone for their police dogs, as does the Chicopee Police Department.