K-9 agent “Kylie” impaled her paw on a stray piece of sharp metal during a search near Reagan National Airport on Tuesday.
While searching along the George Washington Parkway near Reagan National, Kylie stepped on the metal shard. Her partner, Sgt. Gene Ryan with D.C.’s Fire and EMS Department, was afraid she would bleed out before she could receive medical assistance. The dog was a brave little soldier, pushing through a nearly fatal wound to continue her work. Ryan recalled:
She didn’t make any sound at all — that’s pretty usual. Dogs work off-leash, and by the time I got to her I saw all the bleeding, and I saw the object, and she had managed to free herself at that point, and was working her way toward the target odor and even though there was a substantial amount of blood loss. She was still making her way.
The pain-stricken and terrified dog bit at Ryan when he tried to tourniquet her leg. In order to save her life, he threw her over his shoulder and held the wound with his hand as he and another officer quickly hacked their way through the overgrowth to get her out of the woods — and into the hands of an Arlington fire crew and a waiting helicopter from the U.S. Park Police.
Kylie was flown to Friendship Hospital for Animals, though Ryan feared she would be lost during the trip.
Friendship Hospital Chief of Surgery Mathieu Glassman explained: “Any time there is blood loss, it’s pretty unforgiving. So by the time she had gotten here — a normal red cell percentage is about 40 percent or 45 percent — she was down to about 30 or so,” he said.
Fortunately, the hardworking pup will not join the five K-9 units that have already been lost in 2019. By Wednesday afternoon she was released from the hospital and is headed home for a well-deserved rest with her grateful partner.