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Sandy vet tech recalls last moments with K-9 Maya

Feb 21, 2022, 5:00 AM | Updated: 8:59 am
maya vet tech...
Image of West Jordan K9 officer, Maya. Photo credit: West Jordan Police Department

One of the veterinary technicians who tried to save the life of Maya, a West Jordan police K9, is talking about the night Maya was rushed to the hospital last week.

The night the call came into BluePearl Veterinary Partners

“This is why I do what I do, to save animals.” Annalisa Sandoval

Sandy resident Annalisa Sandoval, the veterinary technician on duty at BluePearl Veterinary Partners, says shortly after 7 p.m. they got a call from the officers involved in a deadly shooting.  They were bringing in a wounded K9 officer.

Soon Maya was at the front door, surrounded by other West Jordan officers after a tense night of gunfire. A man had been killed and K-9 officer Maya, a Belgian Malinois, had been shot.

Sandoval says she immediately jumped into action, knowing Maya was seriously wounded and that time was crucial if they were going to save her life.

“She had a gunshot wound. We tried to stabilize her, and I was able to place a catheter on her,” said Annalisa.

X-rays revealed a gunshot wound.  Sandoval said she also noticed a collapsed lung.  The BluePearl staff had hoped to prep Maya for major life-saving surgery, Sandoval said. But Maya’s condition was too critical to be operated on, so life-saving attempts continued.

“We performed CPR on her for about half-an-hour, we got her back three times, but as is the usual case with pets and other animals, there’s a small chance they survive anyway, but we tried hard,” said Sandoval.

Staff and officers had hoped Maya’s handler could have been there at the end

Sandoval says staff and other officers had hoped her handler and his wife would be at Maya’s side. But that officer had also been wounded and was not able to get to the hospital in time.

It was a sergeant who made the call to end CPR, and K-9 Maya passed away a short time later.

Sandoval says she has seen her fair share of animals injured by gunshots, mainly cats and a few dogs, mostly hit by shots from bb guns. Very rarely has she seen or been part of efforts this dramatic.

“They blocked the whole 7200 South just to get her to the hospital,” recalls Sandoval.

Sandoval says they were all devastated, especially the doctors, and the entire staff appreciate all the hard work the officers, including K-9s, do to make sure everyone is safe. 

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