Community Raising Funds For Fallen K-9 Officer

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LAKEWOOD, NY (WNY News Now) – A beloved member of the Lakewood-Busti Police department and the Casselman family, K-9 Officer Sarge, unfortunately passed away due to an unknown and unexpected health challenge. 

Now, the department is hosting a spaghetti dinner and a Go-Fund-Me page has been organized to help the grieving family with medical costs.

“Sarge, the day we picked him out he was the most goofy dog there, he was the happiest and friendliest dog in the world and I was like ‘I want that one, right there’,” said Sarge’s handler Casey Casselman. 

Originally, it was believed that Sarge may have just been overheated, however after taking the proper measures to cool him down at the vet, that was not the case.

“I took him back to the vet, they were able to figure out, dogs have on their left lung, four lobes and they found one of the lobes had been twisted and once they twist, they don’t untwist by themselves, they have to go in there and remove them. So that night he had emergency surgery, then he stayed there a few more days, was able to come home, and seemed to be doing pretty good,” explained Casselman. “He actually was home for a couple of weeks and they removed his staples and everything and they cleared him to go back to work, the training we went back to was very very easy, basically just letting him run around in buildings to get comfortable.”

After being home for a while, Casselman noticed that Sarge’s abdomen seemed to be filling with fluid.

“There they drained three liters of fluid out of him and after another day they sent him home. After being home for a day, I looked at him again and he was filling up so we went back to Orchard Park and they sent us to Philadelphia,” said Casselman.

Unfortunately, Sarge passed away earlier in the week due to these ongoing medical issues. 

 “They never really figured out what was causing it and hopefully they’re going to get some answers. After he passed away they were going to do an autopsy and see if they can figure out what exactly the issues were,” Casselman said. “Really just a thank you to everyone in the community, everybody around that’s donated and sent their thoughts and prayers to us and the department, really appreciate it.”

The spaghetti dinner for K-9 Officer Sarge will be held on Saturday at the Lakewood Fire Department Training Grounds, beginning at 1 p.m. Those interested in helping with medical expenses can also donate to Sarge’s Go-Fund-Me page


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