A story of resilience and determination involving the kindest guy, PD Bandit.

Well, do we have a story for you. A story of resilience and determination that involves THE goodest of good boys, PD Bandit.
An Operational Police Dog since 2019, PD Bandit and his Handler have faced many challenges, but nothing could prepare them for the battle he’d face last year.
In July 2022, Bandit was rushed to the after-hours emergency vet after his Handler noticed he had a very swollen abdomen. Overnight he had gone from being a vibrant, energetic, highly-trained Police Dog to a shadow of his former self. The vets diagnosed him with septic peritonitis (infection in the abdomen) and he was in septic shock. With his organs starting to fail, Bandit in a critical condition.
So the vets quickly prepped him for emergency surgery. The surgery involved draining 4 litres of pus from his stomach. The cause of the infection … a grass seed. Yes, a grass seed. After the surgery, Bandit remained in a critical condition and he had his first blood transfusion in recovery.
Two days later, Bandit underwent a second surgery following an internal bleed. Bandit was then put into Critical Care where he had continuous intensive monitoring, cardiovascular support, feeding support, oxygen therapy and further blood transfusions.
Every single member of the Dog Operations Unit was devastated by the news of Bandit’s serious condition. They visited him often, for nothing more than a pat and a chat because they knew it brightened Bandit’s spirits. He would muster his energy to give all the Handlers a lick and a wag of his tail to show his appreciation, despite being gravely ill. Seeing Bandit fight such a fierce battle for survival brought many of the Handlers to tears. It wasn’t just the Dog Operations Unit who kept in touch with Bandit’s recovery, the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner were very involved, and everyone across SAPOL waited with bated breath for any news.
Finally, after two weeks in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Bandit stabilised, responded well to his treatment and was ready to be reunited with his Handler. As a show of our immense appreciation for all the care provided to Bandit, we presented the vets with a special plaque and our endless thanks.
It’s been a tough journey for all of us, especially PD Bandit. We’re so happy to announce that PD Bandit has passed all his health checks now and will undertake the General Purpose Course so he’s ready to return to operations in June this year

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