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Plover officer launches fundraiser for K9 medical bills at SPPD

Metro Wire Staff

A Plover police officer has launched a fundraiser to assist with medical bills for a Stevens Point K9 dog was being treated for suspected mushroom poisoning.

K9 Luna died early Wednesday morning at the Animal Resource Center in Appleton.

Aimee Kontos, an officer with the Plover Police Department, launched the GoFundMe fundraiser Tuesday night, shortly after news of Luna’s hospitalization was made public.

By Wednesday morning the fundraise was about halfway to its $5,000 goal.

Kontos was previously an officer with the Stevens Point Police Department, moving to Plover PD last June.

“Her vet care costs are astronomical as they try to save her life,” Kontos wrote on the GoFundMe page on Tuesday. “Luna is a phenomenal dog, both professionally and personally. She needs us now.”

Luna, the two-and-a-half-year-old Belgian Malinois who’s been on the job as one of two K9 officers at SPPD for about 18 months, was rushed to the specialized animal medical center in Appleton on Monday night. Her handler and partner, Officer JD Ballew, said the dog suffered a series of seizures.

Medical testing revealed the dog may be suffering from wild mushroom poisoning, according to Assistant Police Chief Tom Zenner. As of Tuesday evening, Luna was suffering multiple organ failure.

The dog has been given about a 30 percent chance of recovery, Zenner said, adding his office was given a “conservative estimate” of about $5,000 in medical expenses for Luna’s care so far.

All of the funds raised will go directly to the Stevens Point Police Department’s K9 Unit, Kontos said.

Both of the department’s dogs are trained in drug identification, tracking, and apprehension. The department installed the K9 unit last April at a cost of about $50,000, paid for with donations.