WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) - They say a dog is man's best friend, but at the Wetumpka Police Department, K-9 officer Keela has become much more than that. Since joining the department in December, she's been working to keep drugs out of the city.
"Our first weekend together, we were on the Wetumpka Police Department's Facebook," said Keela's partner, Officer Hunter Saint. "We had a major bust that lead to a major arrest, and it was our first weekend out of the academy. Since then she's gotten a lot of illegal drugs off the streets."
Over the last 7 months, Officer Keela and Officer Saint have become close. So close, he calls her family.
"I'd lay down my life for her just like I would for that officer over there and for you all. She's no different. She'll do the same thing. She's around our little girls. The shift here, they know her," Saint said. "She comes in in the mornings, goes to roll call with me. Everywhere I go, she goes. If you see me, you see her."
Everywhere, unfortunately, includes the veterinary hospital.
Just last week, Officer Saint noticed Keela was acting a little different.
"We're sitting in the room and I seen her move like she saw something," Saint said. "And I thought it was funny at first and then it got serious and that's when I knew that something was wrong."
Officer Saint rushed the 4-year-old German Shepard to Auburn's Veterinary Center where they diagnosed her with epilepsy. Treatment is costly.
The Wetumpka Police Department has paid for it all so far, but they do have to work within their budget.
Officer Saint got emotional thinking about what could happen if money runs out.
"She would do for me, so I'm going to do everything I can for her. I have the power to do something. I don't want her to be given up because of money."
With the Chief's blessing, Saint has started a GoFundMe page to raise funds for Keela's vet visits and medicine.
He says any excess funds will stay within the K-9 unit at the Wetumpka Police Department.
If you'd like to help with the cost of her treatments, you can donate at the GoFundMe page HERE.