ANTLERS, OK-Deputy Athena is one of Pushmataha county's drug dogs, but after dozens of drug operations, she's developed health problems and needs surgery. Now, the Sheriff's office is asking for the community's help.
Deputy Athena is one of two drug dogs donated to the Pushmataha County Sheriff's Office. Her handler, Deputy Polly Culver, said Athena's assisted in dozens of drug arrests with her 100-percent accurate snout. But last year, she noticed the two-and-a-half year old canine was in pain.
"It started back in September. She couldn't jump on to the bed, she made a whimpering noise," she said.
Culver said Athena was diagnosed with a type of hip dysplasia, which is genetic.
"Last week, Athena became worse. She couldn't walk, so we took her to the vet, and the vet told us that she will have to have both her hips replaced," she said. "They said that it's anywhere from $4,000 to $5,000 for the one hip because of the material that they're gonna use on her because she's a working dog."
Sheriff Terry Duncan said the cost of Athena's surgery is steep and they're in need of donations.
"We're trying to not burden the tax payers and I don't know what we're gonna do without her," he said. "She's a real asset to our office. You very seldom see a drug dog with her temperament that you can have her around children in schools and stuff, but she's a real professional when it comes to finding the drugs and stuff."
Duncan said Athena and another drug dog, Rico, are all they have to help them on their fight against drugs.
"We work interdiction quite a bit and if it wasn't for them, we wouldn't obviously find a lot of what we find and take the bad people off the streets," he said.
"The donations are what gonna help us with Athena's surgery because we are so small and we're unable to afford it," said Culver.
If you'd like to help, contact the Pushmataha County Sheriff's Office at (580) 298-2475.
A benefit has also been set up for Athena March 30th at the Sheriff's office from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.