Officer Hiko, a 110-pound Belgian sheepdog, is suffering from a condition that most likely will end his career and may even threaten his life.
Hiko has a spinal cord infection that has displaced several of his vertebrae. His treatments are not covered by the city’s employee health plan. The Richland Hills Police Department dipped into their own budget, but they have exhausted their resources. Now, the employees are setting up a fund to help this 8-year-old dog beat his infection.
About $3,500 has already been spent on Hiko’s bills at Texas A&M University’s Animal Hospital. The total could be as much as $10,000.
“It’s been hard for him,” said the dog’s handler, officer Jason Baxter. “He used to get excited when he saw me put on my boots. He’d run to the front door. Now he doesn’t understand why he’s not going to work.”
“It’s so weird without him there to lick my face,” Baxter said. “He’s my partner. Now, when I’m on the street I’ve just got an empty seat.”
Denise Baxter, Jason Baxter’s mother, said she has made it her mission to save her “grandpup.”
“Any of the officers who protect my son are important to me,” Denise Baxter said. “Hiko is like family.”
Jason Baxter said Hiko may well be the most selfless of police officers.
“He’s not being paid to work,” the officer said. “He’s helping the community for a pat on the side and a ‘Good boy.’ He’s out there just to get the bad guy.”