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K-9 handlers receive hands-on first aid training

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FRANKLIN (WITI) -- On Tuesday, November 19th, K-9 handlers learned how to back up their canine partners with first aid training.

K-9 officers show up at crime scenes, and are an integral part of finding evidence, suspects and even missing persons. But just like their human partners, they too can get hurt.

"Law enforcement canines are subjected to dangerous situations on a regular basis," Jose Hernandez said.

Hernandez oversees the K-9 program at the Milwaukee County House of Correction and invited Howard Schwartz, president of Emergency Medical Services to teach K-9 first aid.

Many taking the class on Tuesday are new K-9 handlers from different law enforcement departments, plus some county employees who wanted to learn how to care for their pets.

Stuffed animals were used to demonstrate the first aid procedures, such as stopping a bleed, detecting poisonings and CPR.

"CPR for dogs start first with identifying the proper location and to do that we bend the animals leg back until the elbow touches the body. That's the point where the heart is located. We then put the heel of our hand on that location. The rate of compression is going to be extremely fast. 100 compressions per minute," Schwartz said.

Handlers depend on their K-9 partners, and the dogs depend on the handlers as well.

"The handlers have to know, just like they know how to take care of one another or take care of victims -- if you have a canine partner it's very important for you to maintain the knowledge that you need to address the situation," Hernandez said.

Schwartz was a wealth of information in the class, providing information on how to know if your dog is dehydrated, how to gauge your dog's heart rate and human medications you can give a pet.

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