Merrill Police Department K9 Officer Dasty battles blasto
Merrill Police Chief Corey Bennett shared a press release on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, saying Merrill Police Department (MPD) K9 Officer Dasty has been hospitalized following a diagnosis of blastomycosis. His condition is improving somewhat from his initial hospitalization, but he isn’t safe yet.
Bennett said it was something the community should know. “While we have come to refer to him as the Police Department’s K9, he really belongs to the citizens,” he said. “He belongs to all of us.”
“A little over one week ago, Dasty started experiencing various symptoms of an unknown origin,” Bennett said. “Through many veterinarian examinations and consultations, this was eventually narrowed down to a significant case of blastomycosis (blasto). By the time the exact diagnosis was found, Dasty was well on his way to fighting through the process of purging the fungus from his body.”
“Since Saturday, March 4, Dasty has been at a special care facility in Appleton receiving 24-hour care and oxygen to assist him in his fight. Sunday was hopefully the worst day he will ever experience, as he struggled to keep his oxygen levels high. He was breathing at an extremely accelerated rate, which is unsustainable by any person or animal.”
“Since that time, he has shown incremental improvement and signs that he is returning to normal,” Bennett said. “His breathing rate has since reduced to a more normal and stable rate. He is eating, he is taking his meds, he is moving around and getting inquisitive again. We are encouraged but by no means is he in a safe place yet. There is still a lot of progress to achieve.”
“Those in our circle have already become aware of Dasty’s fight, and we are grateful to the outpouring of support, love, and prayers that have been given so far,” he said. “Without a doubt, Dasty could use some more.”
“Dasty’s care has been specialized and costly, to say the least,” Bennett said. “Unlike most MPD initiatives, the MPD K9 program is not primarily funded by tax dollars. It is funded by our wonderful benefactors and other donations from partners in the community.”
Anyone who feels moved to help with the bills incurred to help Dasty in this fight and for his future care can drop off or mail donations c/o the Merrill Police Department, 1004 E. First St., Merrill WI 54452. Checks can be made payable to the Merrill Police Department K9 Program.