Old News



We are saddened to say "Goodbye" to K-9 Gino today

Thursday, November 4th, 2010. Only a week after learning that K-9 Gino had a tumor on his heart, Officer Harris had to make the tough decision to take Gino into Dr. Hale's office today to be humanely euthanized.  The fluid had built back up in Gino's abdomen and he was having trouble walking and breathing.  Officer Harris said that Gino was in obvious pain and had fallen over twice while trying to walk.  No one had expected the fluid to build back up as quickly as it did and after discussing the possibility of attempting to drain the fluid again Officer Harris decided against it because the process would be painful for Gino and would only prolong the inevetible.  Officer Harris said that it was a difficult decision to make but he owed it to his partner of six years to end his suffering.  Gino passed away quietly with Officer Harris at his side.  Gino will have a private cremation service and Officer Harris will keep his ashes at home.

Rest well Gino, you will be missed.


K-9 Gino diagnosed with a tumor on his heart

October 28, 2010.  Just after noon on Thursday while at K-9 Training, it was noticed that K-9 Gino's abdomen was noticeably swollen.  Officer Harris said that K-9 Gino also didn't appear to be feeling well.  Gino was taken to Briarwood Animal Hospital where Dr. Hale performed x-rays, an ultrasound and drained several liters of fluid off of Gino's abdomen.  After reviewing the test results, Dr. Hale suspected that Gino had some type of cancer.  He recommended that Gino be taken to Dr. Dew's office in Russellville for further testing. 

On Friday morning, Officer Harris transported Gino to Russellville.  Once at Dr. Dew's, office another ultrasound was performed and a tumor was detected on Gino's right atrium.  Dr. Dew said that Gino's heart, liver and spleen were all enlarged due to the compromised blood flow through Gino's heart.  Dr. Dew said that he could attempt to remove the tumor but he gave Gino less than a 30% chance of surviving the operation and he thought that the cancer would return before Gino could fully recover from surgery.  Due to the size and location of the tumor, and the painful recovery time should Gino survive the surgery,  Dr. Dew and Officer Harris agreed that attempting to remove it would not be the best course of action.  Dr. Dew recommended that Gino be taken home and be made as comfortable as possible until the fluid returns and he begins having trouble breathing.

Gino is at home resting with Officer Harris and his family. This past weekend Officer Harris prepared Gino a steak dinner.  Gino has also enjoyed a cheeseburger and other treats that he would not normally be allowed to eat.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Gino and Officer Harris.


K-9 Xantho looses his battle with cancer

January 27, 2010:   Although Xantho had been doing very well since his surgery and during his chemo treatments, the cancer returned and caused bleeding into his abdomen.  As a result of the bleeding, Xantho's abodomen became distended and he developed severe anemia.  Xantho took a turn for the worse this past weekend and began to have trouble walking.  Xantho didn't meet Officer Tankersley at the door when he came home from work this morning and he refused to eat or drink throughout the day.  Officer Tankersley could tell that Xantho was in distress and that his quality of life had deteriorated to the point that he was no longer a happy dog.  Officer Tankersley made the difficult decision that it was time to take Xantho in to Dr. Hale's office for one last visit.  Officer Tankersley was met in the parking lot by Tracy, one of Dr. Hale's technicians, and she stayed with Xantho throughout  the process.  After the staff said their goodbye's, Xantho was humanely euthanized at 4:50pm.  Xantho passed away quietly with Officer Tankersley at his side.  Xantho will have a private cremation service and Officer Tankersley will keep his ashes at home. 

Officer Tankersley, as well as the entire Little Rock Police K-9 Association family, would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and generous donations.

Rest well Xantho, you will be missed.   


K-9 Xantho undergoes surgery

On Wednesday December 2nd 2009, K-9 Xantho was taken into Briarwood Animal Hospital after Officer Tankersley noticed he was not feeling well.  K-9 Xantho and Officer Tankersley had just finished working their night shift when Officer Tankersley noticed that Xantho seemed to be extremly tired and suffering from abdominal pain.  Dr. Bob Hale examined Xantho and took x-rays of his abdomen.  After reviewing the x-rays, Dr. Hale discovered that Xantho's spleen was enlarged and he had an abnormal amount of air trapped in his large and small intestines.  Dr. Hale then performed and ultrasound on Xantho's abdomen and identified what he thought was an abnormal mass on Xantho's spleen and blood in his abdomen.  Dr. Hale consulted with Dr. Anthony Gary who is an Internal Medicine Specialist with Arkansas Veterinary Internal Medicine.  Dr. Gary agreed to examine Xantho at Dr. Hale's office.  Dr. Gary brought in his mobile ultrasound and, after examining Xantho, confirmed Dr. Hale's diagnosis of a tumor on Xantho's spleen.  Since Xantho was in pain and was bleeding into his abdomen, Drs. Hale and Gary said that the only two choices of action would be surgery or euthanasia.  Dr. Hale believed that Xantho was strong enough to be a good canidate for a Splenectomy and, if the tumor were to found to be benign, then Xantho should have a full recovery.  Chief Stuart Thomas was informed of the situation and agreed that, if there was a chance that Xantho would recover, he should have the surgery.  We know that this was a difficult decision for Chief Thomas to make because he has been forced to run the Police Department on a very tight budget.  In an attempt to ease some of the burden, the Little Rock Police K-9 Association is working with Chief Thomas to help pay for the cost of Xantho's surgery and after-care.

On Thursday morning, Dr. Hale brought in his personal dog, Roux, to be a blood donor for Xantho.  After receiving a blood transfusion from Roux, Xantho underwent surgery to remove his spleen and the attached tumor.  Dr. Hale completed the surgery and said that Xantho went through the procedure well.  Samples of the tumor, which was approximately the size of a baseball, were sent off to the Pathology Lab and the results are expected back next week.  Xantho is currently recovering at Briarwood Animal Hospital and should be allowed to go home on Saturday. 

Click here for KARK Channel 4 news piece

UPDATE December 8th, 2009:    The Pathology report came back yesterday and ,unfortunately, the results were not good.  The tumor on Xantho's spleen was found to be a Hemangiosarcoma which is an extremely aggressive form of cancer.  While the Vet is hopeful that they caught it in time, the expected survival rate of this type of cancer is only three months to a year after diagnosis.  Possible treatment options are currently being explored.  Xantho is recovering comfortably at home and seems to be doing as well as can be expected.

UPDATE December 13, 2009:    The University of Pennsylvania was contacted about Xantho's condition and is willing to accept him into a clinical trial of an experimental vaccine.  The Doctors there believe that the vaccine would be a better option than standard chemotherapy.  The University would pay all of the costs associated with the treatment with the exception of travel expenses.  Xantho, along with Officer Tankersley, would have to travel to Philadelphia every two to three weeks and stay overnight for testing and treatment.  We are hoping that one of the airlines that serves the Little Rock area will donate transportation so Xantho will be able to receive this treatment.

UPDATE December 21, 2009:    Xantho started the first round of chemotherapy today.  We found out that the clinical study at the University of Pennsylvania would not start for several more weeks, and we have not made any progress securing transportation.  Rather than waiting to enter the trial, it was decided that the best course of treatment for Xantho would be to start the chemotherapy treatments as soon as possible.  Dr. Mark Shinabery, the Director of Pharmacy Operations at Custom Compounding Center, donated the first round of Doxorubicin for Xantho's treatment.  Dr. Anthony Gary administered the treatment this morning at approximately 9:50 and Xantho is now at home resting.  So far he has not suffered from any side effects from the treatment.  Xantho is scheduled for his next treatment in two weeks.

UPDATE January 5, 2010:    Xantho has been doing well and so far has not suffered any side effects from the first chemo treatment.  Today he had the second round of chemo and so far everything is good. 

UPDATE January 11, 2010:    Xantho saw Dr. Hale this morning and had blood work done.  He shows to be anemic and I have noticed that, for that last several days, he has tired much easier.  After jumping down off of the exam table and walking out into the lobby, Xantho became dizzy and fell.  We are hoping that this is simply a side effect of the chemo suppressing his bone marrow and not a complication from the cancer.  Dr. Hale gave Xantho vitamins and an iron supplement in order to try to up his red blood count.  Xantho was originally scheduled for the third round of chemo on Monday, January 18th, but it looks like we will have to wait until his anemia improves.  As long as Xantho remains stable throughout the week, he will go back in for more blood work on Monday and if his blood count has gone up, he should be able to get the chemo treatment later that week.

UPDATE January 15, 2010:    Dr. Gary performed a follow-up ultrasound on Xantho this morning and the results were not good.  Dr. Gary found what he believed to be more tumors in Xantho's abdomen and said that they were probably bleeding and causing the anemia.  Dr. Gary said that further chemo treatments would not offer any benefits and suggested that Xantho be made as comfortable as possible at home.  


The Little Rock Police K-9 Association was the subject of a UALR Speech class presentation

We are honored to announce that several students in Ms. Susan Altrui's Speech 1300 class at UALR decided to do one of their presentations on the LRPK9 Association.  The students (Mr. Matthew Fuller, Ms. Marisol Grham, and Mr. Derrick Williams) called their group the Students Against Crime-UALR and the purpose of the assignment was to speak/inform the class about a non-profit organization.  After looking at our website and deciding that they wanted to support our mission, they opted to do their presentation on the  After they contacted Officer Tankersley for more information and the background/history of the LRPK9 Association, they asked if he would consider bringing his partner, K-9 Xantho, to their class.  Officer Tankersley agreed and he and Xantho were on hand on Saturday October 31, 2009 when the group made their presentation.  At the conclusion of the presentation, the group presented Officer Tankersley with an envelope contaning donations that the Students Against Crime-UALR had collected for the LRPK9 Association.  After the group's presentation, Officer Tankersley answered questions from the class.

We are very proud to announce that the Students Against Crime-UALR group made an "A" on their presentation.  Way to go guys!  And a big "Thank You!" from the K-9's for your generous donation.

K-9 Chewie sniffs out Heroin

K-9 Chewie located 30 grams of Heroin in a package at the Post Office.  The package was in transit from Seattle, Washington to the Federal Correctional Institution at Forrest City, Arkansas.  At least three people were charged Federally.


Moose Lodge donates $4000

The North Little Rock Moose Lodge #942 has donated $4000 to the Little Rock Police K-9 Association to purchase ballistic vests - click here to read the full article


Latest donations will provide seven ballistic vests

Donations from several sources will provide seven ballistic vests for the K-9s.  Ms. Phelps' 2008-2009 Fourth grade class at Beebe Elementary School started the ball rolling by raising money for a ballistic vest for K-9 Jeri.  Shortly after their donation, a television news story came out about local K-9s not having vests.  This prompted several other donors to step up.  A person who wished to remain anonymous donated two vests and the Little Rock K-9 Academy donated a vest.  Most recently, the North Little Rock Moose Lodge #942 donated $4000 to purchase four vests.  We would like to thank all of these people for their concern and their generous donations.

MilkBone donates $5000 to the Little Rock Police Department K-9 Unit

On Friday, Sept. 18, 2009 Del Monte Pet Products and Milk Bone announced a $5,000 donation in partnership with Kroger towards the purchase of a new dog for the Little Rock Police Department K-9 Unit.  Representatives from MilkBone, Kroger, and Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas held a press conference at the Kroger store on Cantrell and Polk to announce MilkBone's Canine Heroes Program donation to the K-9 Unit.  The K-9 Unit was there to show off their dogs and K-9 Jeri, along with his handler Officer Shippee, put on a K-9 apprehension demonstration. 

We are saddened to announce the passing of retired K-9 Axel

K-9 Axel was retired in 2008 when he began having problems with his rear legs.  When he began to loose balance and control of his rear legs an MRI was performed on K-9 Axel's back and hips.  It was discovered that K-9 Axel had a bulging disk in his back that was putting pressure on his spine.  K-9 Axel underwent surgery in the fall of 2008 to alleviate the pressure with the hopes that he would regain the lost motor function, but after several months of rehab K-9 Axel had not shown much improvement.  In May of this year, K-9 Axel's condition worsened and it appeared that he was now in constant pain and his quality of life was degrading.  Officer Harrington made the painful decision that K-9 Axel, who had served her and the citizens of Little Rock so bravely, should not be made to suffer any longer.  On June 4th, K-9 Axel was humanely euthanized. 

Rest well Axel, we will miss you.

Beebe Middle School Visit

Officer Shippee and his partner K-9 Jeri went to the Beebe Middle School recently to talk with Mrs. Shannon Phelps' 5th grade class about Police Dogs and what they do.  After learning about the dangers that the Police K-9's face, Mrs. Phelps' 5th grade class became concerned about K-9 Jeri's safety when facing potentially armed suspects.  The kids decided to collect pennies and, in just a few weeks, the nine- and ten-year-olds had raised almost $600 to purchase a bulletproof vest for K-9 Jeri.  They donated the money to the Little Rock Police K-9 Association and we are now in the process of obtaining the vest for K-9 Jeri. 

K-9 Xantho Apprehends Man Dubbed as Serial Burglar

click here to watch a video and read the whole story 

Badges, Bandits and Bars

Badges, Bandits and Bars examines this part of Arkansas history from four different perspectives: crime, law enforcement, courts, and prisons. The exhibit includes compelling artifacts and photographs from collections recently donated by the Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas Department of Correction, as well as objects loaned by other institutions and individuals, and those from the Old State House Museum’s permanent collections.  For more information click the banner.

Xantho and Gino (along with their handlers, Officer Tankersley and Officer Harris) were on-hand at the grand opening of the exhibit.  To see pictures click here








Old News





 K-9 Jeri apprehends Commercial Burglar

Officer Shippee and K-9 Jeri were called to the Job Corps building at 21st and Vance Streets to search the mulit-floor building for a burglar that was thought to be inside stealing copper.  K-9 Jeri searched the building and apprehended the suspect in a 5th floor bathroom hiding in a shower and wrapped in a shower curtain.

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