Freshman Serves Police Dogs

Daniela Moroz, Staff Writer

Emily Tamkin’s father is an emergency physician for California Highway Patrol. In May of 2015, he signed his daughter up with a non-profit organization called Cover Your K-9. “Emily has always had an interest in veterinary medicine and loves dogs – so it seemed like a perfect fit for her. I was excited to get to share my love of emergency medicine and law enforcement with her,” he said.

The organization educates police officers about canine first-aid and makes bullet proof vests and other equipment for the service dogs. At the training events, which are usually located at a police headquarters, officers are certified as trauma care physicians for their canine partners. At the fundraising events offered by Cover Your K-9, dogs compete with each other in practice drills, such as search and rescue.

Tamkin had already been volunteering for the CHP in the testing of cadets, who must be certified in first aid. “I went [to the testing area], and they covered us in fake blood and fake injuries. In our station, we had been in a car accident,” Tamkin explained.

Her work with the Cover Your C-9 program was not quite so dramatic. “I go and help set up, and also sell shirts. I help organize the events by signing people in and out,” she said. In addition, Tamkin makes first-aid kits for canines at home. Equipment for the kits are sent to her house. There, she fills them with hemostatic dressing, gloves, gauze, and other medical supplies.

Though Tamkin had long thought to be a veterinarian, she has turned her sights on being a surgeon for people after being exposed to human medicine. “I learned that I preferred human medicine even though I love hanging out with animals more,” Tamkin said.