A close call for K9 officer in West Allis

WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- A close call for a member of the West Allis Police Department. An officer is rushed to the hospital after losing a lot of blood. Coming to the rescue, a team of medical professionals. It wasn't doctors that were needed, but vets!

Hey may whimper just a little, but West Allis K9 Officer Jax is wagging and walking as if he were feeling 100%.

"He's a tough dog, just wants to get back to work," said handler, Corporal Jon Cerqua.

The 4-legged patrol dog has a big role to play.

"What he does is building searches, tracking if somebody flees. He does apprehension work, and he does area searches too to look for people if we don't know where they are -- and evidence searches as well," said Cerqua.

Cerqua was devastated when the German Shepard suffered a devastating injury. Jax was hurt while in the back field of the Police Department.

"When he was running he decided to jump over roofing material that's laying in the back field," said Cerqua.

Jax snagged the metal pieces.

"When he tried jumping over it, it caught one of his paws and kind of rolled on top of it -- and when he rolled, a sharp edge of metal sliced the outside of his right hind leg," said Cerqua.

Cerqua panicked when he saw the severity of the nasty gash.

"I saw a lot of blood, and he was whining right away. I ran back to my squad car and grabbed a roll of paper towel. I immediately started applying pressure," said Cerqua.

Officers rushed him to Spirit of 76 Veterinary Clinic. Within minutes, Dr. Troy Semandel and his team performed surgery.

"He had about an 8 inch laceration that penetrated all the way to the bone lacerating numerous muscles and lacerated many vessels in there to try to control bleeding," said Dr. Semandel.

The fast acting officers combined with Semandel's expertise saved this 3-year-old's life.

"I couldn't be more proud of what they did. I love doing what I do and help do my part to get the bad guys off the road," said Cerqua.

Jax is expected to make a full recovery and be back on the job in a few weeks. He will undergo laser light therapy which speeds the healing process.