WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) - Officer Hunter Saint wants to say, "Thank You." Since our story aired Wednesday night, nearly $6,000 have been raised - bringing the total so far to more than $8,000 - to help his K-9 partner, Keela.
"It's a humbling experience. That's for definitely," Saint said. "It's amazing what the community will do."
Just last week, Hunter noticed his partner was acting differently and brought Keela to the Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital at Auburn University. The presumptive diagnosis is epilepsy, but doctors say that could just be the tip of the iceberg.
"We can see it in dogs with brain cancer," cautioned Dr. Amanda Taylor, a veterinary neurologist. "We can see it in dogs with auto-immune disease of the brain, and we can see it in dogs that have had something similar to a stroke. "But," she went on, "in Keela's case, we don't know the underlying cause of it, but we have not found a disease process that's causing the brain to have seizures."
Keela's off-duty for now, taking medicine they hope will help. But with the cause unknown, she isn't out of the woods yet.
"There's still a lot more tests that need to be done to determine what's going on with her and so anything that can be done to help out her station pay for the cost of that is extremely important," Taylor said.
Officer Saint says Keela can see and appreciate the support.
"Some of the guys came down there and saw her and she was just the old Keela for a second and everybody knew it. So, I think she knows," her partner explained.
Saint says the extra money will go toward the K-9 quarters at the police department, "hoping with what's left over, after we figure out what's wrong with her...updating that. Something a lot better than what it is."
DONATIONS can be made HERE.