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Binghamton police K-9 ‘Rudi’ fights for his life

(WBNG) — Binghamton K-9 Rudi is fighting for his life after being diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder.

His handler, Binghamton police officer Drew Fessenden, says it started with a nosebleed and when it didn’t stop he took Rudi to Cornell University. That’s where he went through a series of tests and the doctors determined he has the disorder.

“On Saturday he was so close to dying, I mean he was completely different from the Rudi that I know who is just 100 percent all the time and all about work, so it’s been a long haul and emotional,” said Fessenden.

K-9 Rudi is only three years old and in his two years working in Broome County, Fessenden says he’s assisted in more than 100 arrests.

“He’s a really serious dog, when we’re at work he means business all the time, all he wants to do is work,” said Fessenden.

The two have created a bond like no other.

“You can’t describe it, they’re not only your canine, they’re you’re partner. He’s with me pretty much around the clock day in and day out,” he said.

For days Rudi has been undergoing treatment and his handler says it’s been tough to watch.

“I feel so helpless as his handler that I’m not able to do anything for him and he’s stuck there where he doesn’t want to be,” he said.

Officer Chris Bracco is in charge of the K-9 Unit and says the entire department is behind Rudi.

“There’s a lot of unknowns with K-9 Rudi right now, he’s got a rare genetic disorder, very few cases have ever been seen, but Rudi is a fighter, he’s fighting, I know he’s going to get through it, I know officer Fessenden is going to get through it. We’re going to do everything we can to rally behind Rudi to get him back to full strength and back on the street,” said Bracco.

The department has been raising money to help with the growing medical bills. In 24 hours the department has raised almost $700. You can follow Rudi’s journey on Facebook and donate to his cause by clicking here. 

Jackie Prager

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