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Florida police K9 bitten by snake while searching for missing baby

PCSO K9 is expected to fully recover

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PASCO COUNTY, Fla. – A K9 assisting the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a search for a missing baby was bitten by a water moccasin in the Everglades on Thursday.

As investigators and officers were searching the area, Heidi Sievers, Forensic Investigator (FI) and K9 Phi’s handler noticed that K9 Phi was limping.

While walking back, a trainer noticed a water moccasin.

The investigators noticed blood coming from Phi’s rear paw and immediately took him to BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital in Naples, Fla.

K9 Phi was treated with anti-venom by BluePearl relief veterinarian, Beth Lechner, DVM, DACVIM, Internal Medicine.

Phi’s prognosis for a full recovery is good. He was released to finish recovering at home with his handler on Friday.

​“The Pasco Sheriff’s Office is thankful for the quick actions of BluePearl in K9 Phi’s care," the Pasco Sheriff’s Office said. “Their professionalism and communication with FI Sievers and Cpl. Hall has been greatly appreciated during this incident. While K9 Phi is a working dog, he is also a part of not only the Pasco Sheriff’s Office family, but also FI Sievers’ family, as our K9s live at home in off duty hours. We are grateful that BluePearl’s work will allow our family member to make a full recovery and continue his important work within Pasco County and beyond.”

Pasco Sheriff’s Office is one of the few agencies in the nation that has Human Remains Detection K9s integrated within their agency.

About the Author:

Carianne Luter is a social media producer for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in communications.