Special to the EagleHerald/Sgt. Tina Nast
K9 officer Avery sits comfortably in the back of the squad car on his way to Madison Friday. He and his handler, Sgt. Tina Nast, saw specialists at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, where they learned he has a cruciate tear in one of his hind legs. While he will undergo surgery in mid-July, Nast considered this to be good news, since there was speculation Avery might have bone cancer.
Special to the EagleHerald/Sgt. Tina Nast

K9 officer Avery sits comfortably in the back of the squad car on his way to Madison Friday. He and his handler, Sgt. Tina Nast, saw specialists at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, where they learned he has a cruciate tear in one of his hind legs. While he will undergo surgery in mid-July, Nast considered this to be good news, since there was speculation Avery might have bone cancer.

MADISON, Wis. — K9 Officer Avery of the Menominee County Sheriff’s Office, successfully underwent surgery Friday at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.

According to Avery’s handler and partner, Sgt. Tina Nast, the 81/2-year-old English black lab was operated on for three hours, during which time his veterinary surgeon repaired a large tear in the meniscus of his left hind leg before repairing the cruciate tear.

“Avery is doing well just out of surgery tonight,” Nast told the EagleHerald. “It was a long three hours, but Dr. Georgia Bosscher says the TPLO went smoothly.”

TPLO, or tibial-plateau-leveling osteotomy, is a surgery performed on dogs to stabilize the stifle joint after ruptures of the cranial cruciate ligament (analogous to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in humans, and sometimes colloquially called the same). The surgery was originally scheduled for July 15, but was moved up because Avery is a working dog.

Nast said Avery will stay the night in the hospital and she will meet with physical therapists Saturday to get Avery’s rehab instructions. After a quick check with the vet, the two should be heading back to Menominee before the end of the day.

The community has rallied around the special drug dog who has worked with Nast for seven years. People have held fundraising events, pledged money through a GoFundMe account and set up business donations to help pay the costs of Avery’s surgery and Nast’s expenses. At the Family Recreation Day held June 8 at the Great Lakes Memorial Marina Park, Nast said there were even children giving her money from their piggy banks to help Avery.

“I would like to express my most heartfelt gratitude to all Avery’s supporters,” Nast said Friday evening. “I cannot even begin to tell you how uplifting it is to see how many community and noncommunity members came out and rallied together for Avery.

“It seems so little to just say ‘thank you,’ but that is all I can say. You helped my partner — and to me, the amount of gratitude I have is immeasurable,” Nast said.

The GoFund Me account is no longer taking donations, after Nast said she received enough funds to cover the expenses so far.