Take a bite out of crime? Only after a root canal

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Just like the rest of us, police officers have to go to the dentist too. That includes 4-legged officers as well.

On Friday, a K-9 officer has made his way to the dentist office.

Helix has been with Roseburg Police Department for about a year. His handler, Officer Todd Crouse brought him to Bailey Vet Clinic for a root canal. "As a police dog, he has to practice biting and more importantly, letting go," said Crouse. "And so, the cracked tooth was preventing him from actually being able to properly train, just due to the pain."

Though root canals are a fairly rare procedure for most dogs, Doctor Ron Tribble says it is crucial to keep the integrity of Helix's mouth.

If he can't bite, he can't work.

"If you were to have this tooth removed verses doing a root canal on it, I would suspect that that would probably make this dog ineligible for what it does," Tribble said.

Officer Crouse is grateful to the community, who have kept the K-9 program up and running the past two and a half years. "Our program is community funded," Crouse said. "Without the community, things like Dr. Tribble donating his time and Bailey's vet donating their time, we wouldn't be able to run the program."