LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- After seven years of sniffing out bombs and threats in Las Vegas, K-9 Cole was ready for retirement.
"Since 2014, if you’ve been to a major event, concert, or show, there’s a very good chance that Cole was one of the dogs that was there before you to make it safe," said K-9 manager Adam Stefanelli.
Stefanelli was Cole’s handler, but after his last day on the job, he became his owner.
"They’re giving you the asset, and you sign off, and you assume all responsibility thereafter, financial and otherwise," he explained.
Stefanelli was looking forward to letting Cole relax after nearly a decade on the job. "I was looking forward to taking him hiking at Red Rock. His favorite thing is swimming in the pool. Just that kind of stuff, just letting him be a dog for the next several years."
But those relaxing plans took a turn when Stefanelli noticed several swollen lymph nodes on Cole. A week later, he was diagnosed with lymphoma. Cole’s cancer did not respond well to the first round of treatment.
"That drug works for about 95% of dogs with Lymphoma, but of course, it didn’t work for him. So that was $980 down the drain."
Stefanelli said the current treatment is working for now, but it’s one that will cost a total of nearly $16,000. He set up a GoFundMe, hoping donations help Cole fight a new threat.
"For seven years, he’s tried to help protect our guests that come to Las Vegas, and he’s done a very good job of it. I just want to do the best for him and I want him to have a good retirement."
To donate to canine Cole's treatment fund, click here.
If the GoFundMe receives more money than what is needed for treatment, he will donate it to person or dog battling cancer.