ARIVACA, AZ (Tucson News Now) - National Guard personnel serving under Operation Guardian Support saved the life of a Tucson Sector Border Patrol canine experiencing a medical emergency on Tuesday, July 3.
A joint Operation Guardian Support aircrew responded to a K-9 handler's call for help when his partner began to display signs of illness. The pair had just tracked down and apprehended 11 illegal aliens in harsh terrain near Arivaca.
At approximately 9:40 a.m. Tuesday, Tucson Border Patrol Station's Tactical Operations Center was notified a canine had dangerously high body temperature, uncontrolled breathing, and loss of coordination. Despite the handler's effort to cool the dog with ice packs, the canine remained in distress.
Within 20 minutes, a UH-72 crew was able to safely land and extract both the K-9 handler and canine for quick transport to a local veterinary clinic.
The dog was diagnosed with heat exhaustion and was kept for observation, but is expected to make a full recovery due to the quick reaction of National Guard personnel.
This is a harsh reminder the desert is unforgiving and could claim the life or adversely affect the health of humans and animals. Tucson Sector Border Patrol is grateful Operation Guardian Support personnel were available to save the canine's life.
Operation Guardian Support is a partnership between the National Guard and Department of Homeland Security. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has a decades-long relationship working with the Department of Defense. The National Guard significantly assists CBP through support such as aerial detection, repairing border infrastructure, and logistical support while CBP focuses on enforcing our immigration laws.