Injured DC Search Dog Is Going to Be OK, Handler Says

The D.C. search dog who was medevaced in a helicopter that stopped traffic on George Washington Parkway Tuesday is going to be OK, her handler said.

US Park Police flew Kylie, a special operations K-9 for D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services, to Friendship Hospital for Animals in Tenleytown after she was injured on duty Tuesday afternoon, the department said.

The 6-year-old German shepherd was assisting K-9 handler Sgt. Gene Ryan with a search when she was impaled by a piece of metal rebar that was sticking out of the ground in a wooded area, Ryan told News4.

Her injuries were so serious, US Park Police halted traffic on GW Parkway to land a helicopter that lifted Kylie and Ryan to the hospital, D.C. Fire and EMS public information officer Vito Maggiolo said.

After three surgeries, Kylie left the hospital and is on the road to recovery, Ryan said. 

It wasn't the first time she was rescued.

Kylie was nearly euthanized because of a genetic defect before she became a search dog, News4 previously reported.

Ryan was giving screening tests to potential search dogs in the area when he found Kylie. 

"I gave her the test, and she was a rock star," Ryan said in a video.

As a cadaver dog, Kylie can smell decaying blood, flesh, weapons and more, Ryan said in the video.

She's played a key role in many high-profile cases, including when she helped find three bodies behind an apartment building in Southeast D.C. and when she searched for missing girl Relisha Rudd

Kylie will be laid up for several weeks while she recovers, but Ryan said he hopes the two will be back at work together in a few months.

Last month, the duo earned the 2019 Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Award, which honors the best in public service.

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