Rutherford Co. Pet Resort Raises Money For K-9, Ely - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Rutherford Co. Pet Resort Raises Money For K-9, Ely

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Ely and his handler, Sergeant Lee Young. Ely and his handler, Sergeant Lee Young.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – A Rutherford County pet resort hosted a fundraiser in an effort to raise money for the police department's K-9 unit.

Safari Pet Resort of Murfreesboro hosted the fundraiser Sunday in Murfreesboro. It was held in honor of Murfreesboro Police Department K-9, Ely, who suffered a heat stroke in the line of duty back in September. The fundraiser was part of an effort to raise money for the department to buy special equipment to prevent their canines from overheating.

Ely was undoubtedly the star of Sunday's fundraiser. Last month, he suffered a heatstroke during a manhunt for a shooting suspect. His handler, Sergeant Lee Young, knew something was not quite right after the pursuit was over.

"On the way back, I knew he was in trouble when he collapsed," said Sergeant Young.

Ely suffered internal bleeding and damage to his intestines. Sergeant Young never left his side throughout the ordeal.

"He's a family member," he said. "I spend more time with him then I do my family."

Ely was back on the force only two weeks after his medical emergency. Sergeant Young said he still has a long way to go to full recovery.

"We've run a lot of tests on him trying to find out what and why and it may just be genetic," he said.

Organizers of the fundraiser hoped the event would not only raise money, but awareness, as well.

"We have to always remember the sheriff's (office) and police department are always out there putting their lives on the line and these canines help in many cases," said Susan Cleveland, with Safari Pet Resort.

Sergeant Young said he was touched by the event.

"It's nice to know there (are) people out there that care for us and want us to continue doing our jobs," he said.

If you would like to make a contribution to the Rutherford County K9 Unit, you can contact the Safari Pet Resort at 615-890-3732.

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