Newspaper readers sent money to a cash-strapped Minnesota police agency that couldn’t pay for a $2,500 operation to restore the sight of one of its police dogs.

After a story about 22-month-old K-9 Timber ran in the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, readers sent a total of more than $20,000 to contribute to the dog’s surgery.

Officer Michelle Rafferty of the Duluth (Minn.) Police Department had been willing to put up her own money for the cateract removal operation so her department wouldn’t replace her partner with another dog. Rafferty can’t believe so many people were willing to help her and Timber.

“It has blown me away and changed my life forever,” Rafferty said.

The donated money not used for Timber’s surgery has been put into the Duluth Police K-9 Fund. It will be used to pay for equipment, dogs, or other needs for the agency’s K-9 units.

Now, thanks to some generous Minnesotans, Timber sees clearly, perhaps better than he ever has. He is scheduled to return to work in about a month.

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