MWD (Retired) Bak is a 10-year-old German Shepherd who was purchased in 2006 by the 341st Security Forces Squadron for the Joint Services Military Working Dog Program. He was certified as a Patrol Drug Detector Dog on September 2007 and was assigned to Fort Benning, GA. During this time MWD Bak had several handlers and primarily was utilized to provide law enforcement support for the Fort Benning community of over 165,000 residents. MWD Bak and SSG Adams were paired together in mid-2012 and worked together until his retirement in March 2016. Throughout his tenure, he supported over 650 missions ranging from contraband detection in Soldiers barracks to providing security to warrants served and tracking fugitives.
During the last year of his career, Bak started to show multiple issues with his hindquarters. Searching high, negotiating obstacles and simple tasks such as getting in and out of a patrol vehicle became difficult for Bak to do. Upon evaluation by the Fort Benning Veterinarian, he was recommended to be medically retired. Bak retired but will remain on multiple medications to assist with arthritis, a degenerative disk in his spine and chronic skin/coat issues.
SSG Adams and Bak moved to the Washington D.C. area in September 2016. Bak was enrolled in the Paws of Honor program with Old Dominion Animal Health Center in October 2016 which has covered his medications and procedures to date. On 2 December 2016 Bak began to act very lethargically after a fall and was scheduled for a checkup the following day. During this, multiple tests were run that indicated he had internal bleeding that would require emergency surgery. Bak was immediately rushed into surgery where the bleeding was stopped and found to be because of a ruptured spleen.
Pathology results indicated Bak has hemangiosarcoma and expected life expectancy would be 2-3 months without chemotherapy. Paws of Honor had covered all expenses, however, due to a lack of oncologists in Old Dominion Animal Health Center, they were unable to coordinate this care. Bak is currently undergoing chemo with Red Bank Animal Hospital in Tinton Falls, NJ through the War Dog Association.