K-9 Gangster to go home with officer after diagnosis by local veterinarian

Keith Reyes and Gangsta

Officer Keith Reyes and Gangster

Hard-working K-9 Gangster will be getting an early retirement after a diagnosis by a local veterinarian.

Gangster, a member of the Lady Lake Police Department, was diagnosed in January by veterinarian Tina Merritt with chronic skin issues and some musculoskeletal issues.

“We are now concerned he may be developing Degenerative Myelopathy. This is a slowly progressive neurological disease that will affect his ability to work. Gangster should probably be retired from working service,” she said.

For the past three years, Gangster has been paired with Officer Keith Reyes. Gangster will be going home for good with Reyes, who is purchasing the dog from the Town of Lady Lake for $1.

Chief of Police Chris McKinstry said Gangster and Reyes have established a bond.

Reyes will pay $1 for the dog. The town will cease to have liability for the dog once Reyes officially takes possession of Gangster.

The police department is looking at possible options to replace Gangster.



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  1. Aileen Milton says

    Please change the dogs diet and add omega 3 for the skin problems – Gangster might be suffering from allergies. Don’t let the vet give this dog steroids.. change vets and get second opinion. have good reason for this suggestion.

    • mike armstrong says

      Excellent point Aileen. Salmon oil which is high in Omega 3s does wonders for skin conditions (also it is 99.5% fat so dogs love it.)

      Also a spoonful of yogurt mixed in with their food will build up the gut bacteria and solve all sorts of immunity problems.

    • Hunter Hampton says

      I thought about posting the same thing but didn’t think it would get to the owner. When I adopted my heart dog, Cooper, a Collie mix he had horrible skin conditions. Hot spots, staph infections, many vets later….. who all wanted to give him steroids….. I finally took him to the University of Tennessee vet school and got him figured out. He had to go on an expensive antibiotic for a month, get bathed twice a week in fancy shampoo and I found a food that worked for him. Venison, no grains or corn. Never had another problem as long as no one slipped him a dog biscuit…..

  2. Deena Graves Kerridge says

    This is sad, but I’m glad that the right thing is being done. Dogs and their handlers have a very special bond, so glad to see this one will be able to continue. Good job, Gangster.

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