Colorado community steps up to help hero dog with brain tumor

A retired k-9 is battling a brain tumor and the community is fundraising for his treatment.
A retired k-9 is battling a brain tumor and the community is fundraising for his treatment.(Yzabelah Roberts)
Published: Jul. 26, 2020 at 11:57 AM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKTV) - A retired police dog will soon be undergoing radiation for brain tumor thanks to the generosity of the community he once served.

Joker, formerly of the Grand Junction Police Department, was diagnosed earlier this summer following a 45-minute seizure.

“When it first happened it scared me to death, I truly thought when we took him to the vet in the middle of the night that I wasn’t bringing him home. It was very-- his seizure was very very bad and I truly thought we were going to lose him,” Joker’s owner, retired GJPD officer Geraldine Earthman, told sister station KKCO.

The procedure to save his life would cost at least $9,000, KKCO reported. Earthman created a GoFundMe for help with expenses.

“Joker and I became partners April 1, 2011. We spent all of our time together both on and off duty. Being able to take him to work every day was the best job ever. Our bond is still extremely strong, he is an amazing dog,” she wrote on the fundraising page.

Earthman said Joker’s prognosis was good if he got the treatment he needed.

The Grand Junction Police Department threw their support behind one of their own, posting to Facebook, "Our thoughts, hearts, and prayers are with our beloved, retired GJPD K9 Joker, his handler (retired GJPD K9 Officer Earthman), and his family. Joker was diagnosed with a brain tumor over the weekend and will be navigating through treatment options as his family and care team decide what is best for him moving forward. Colorado Police Canine Association couldn't have said it better... "he is a tough but sweet boy and has a lot of fight left in him."

We <3 you Joker and the entire GJPD Family is pulling for you every step of the way!”

KKCO reported Friday that through GoFundMe, a Facebook fundraiser and other accounts, Earthman raised about $6,000. Joker will begin radiation treatment at Colorado State Veterinary Hospital in Fort Collins next week.

During Joker’s years with the police department, he assisted on numerous drug busts and putting bad guys behind bars. KKCO reports his most notable accomplishment was tracking down the suspect who shot and killed Mesa County Deputy Derek Geer in 2016.

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