Injured police dog Bosco continues to improve
Published: Monday, September 28, 2009
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2012 23:06
Bosco, a Zanesville police dog, is continuing to make strides more than a month after he was shot and seriously injured. He was recently released from the Ohio State Veterinary Hospital.
"The hardest thing to describe to somebody is the bond that you have with the dog," said Michael Schiele, a Zanesville police officer and Bosco's owner and trainer. "You spend more time with that dog than you do with your own family. But obviously, they'll do anything for you. I mean, he's the reason I'm still here."
Schiele was serving a misdemeanor warrant on Dominick Conley in August. Conley was uncooperative and a fight broke out between the two. Schiele, in trouble, pushed a button that let Bosco out of the police car. Conley shot Bosco twice and Schiele once, in the hip. Conley was later apprehended.
Schiele is on leave and recovering. Bosco was paralyzed from the neck down.
In therapy at the hospital, the dog has come a long way, Schiele said, and is now able to sometimes walk on his own. He continues to work on balance, strength and coordination at the hospital.
"They're optimistic that he'll be able to walk as a normal dog," Schiele said. "He won't be able to be a police dog, though, because of the physical demands. We'll still use him as a public relations dog to take into schools and to other social events."
Bosco, a Dutch Shepherd, is a very social dog, Schiele said.
"He's always around people and kids," Schiele said. "He has his own personality just like any other dog. When he's at home he interacts with the family, and when he's at work he knows he's at work."
Schiele has had Bosco since June 2007 and described him as "a member of the family."
[Schiele's family is] "just as concerned for him as I am," Schiele said.
Schiele said with the help of donations from Value City Furniture and the Schottenstein family, he will soon have another dog to take to the streets.
Police dogs are certified just like any other police officer in the state of Ohio, Schiele said, and Bosco is considered a dual-purpose police dog. Schiele said this means he deals with both patrol work, such as criminal apprehension, as well as tracking. Bosco is considered a drug dog, Schiele said, and his specialty is scent detection.
The Zanesville K-9 police unit has two dogs and is supported by donations. There is no insurance for Bosco, and Schiele's family will have to incur some of that cost, said Jim Gilbert, Fraternal Order of Police president for Capital City Lodge #9.
"We want to help get the information out about this tragedy," Gilbert said. "If you feel compelled to help, you can. Bills are extensive. Most people would say, ‘he's just a dog, and let's put him down.' The reality is that he's a family pet, and a trained police dog."
Gilbert said the FOP Lodge #9 has raised $6,000 in the last three weeks "through the generosity of the citizens of central Ohio."
Citizens can go to any National City Bank and donate to the "K-9 Bosco FOP Relief Fund" where an account is still open, he said.
"He [Bosco] has already made some strides," Gilbert said. "They thought he would be paralyzed. Who knows what may happen with his treatment."
Schiele said citizens can also go to bucksforbosco.com to make donations, see pictures of Bosco and read updates of his recovery.
"The support has been great," Schiele said. "People have been really generous to help donate money for his care."