Binghamton police K-9 ‘Rudi’ returns to work following life-threatening illness

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Binghamton K-9 Rudi is back at work after a fight for his life. Back in December, he was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder.

Rudi’s handler, Binghamton police officer Drew Fessenden, says a nosebleed prompted a trip to Cornell University. That’s where he went through a series of tests and the doctors determined he has the disorder.

“The hospitalization after the nose bleed is what turned us on to some other issues,” he said.

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

That led to an uphill battle of surgeries and extensive physical therapy.

“Work is his life, he wants nothing more than to work. So seeing him there unable to hardly walk, was really tough,” he said.

The two have been partners since Rudi was 14-months-old and created a friendship like no other.

“Our bond is inseparable, I spend more time with him than anyone else,” he said, “I would hear something in the backseat. I was so used to having him back there with me that I would just assume that whatever I heard was him, but it was just something moving in the back seat and he wasn’t there and that was tough.”

However, showing his strength and determination, Rudi made his way to recovery and rejoined the department.

“He’s resilien. He bounced back. It took a lot of work and it’s still take a lot of work to go through his exercises and stretches, but he’s done a good job,” he said.

Something Fessenden says couldn’t have been done without the help from the community.

“It was amazing. We received cards from as far away as California and we had so many donors that we were able to completely pay for all of his medical expenses,” he said.

You can continue to follow Rudi and all of Binghamton’s K-9’s on their Facebook page here. 

Jackie Prager

Jackie Prager

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