RIT Senior Capstone Project 2018
Trending Market: 
Operational Canines 
Operational canines (OpK9's) are working dogs, specifically trained to serve and defend us in a tactile or high-threat environment. They include federal and local law enforcement (LE), force protection agencies (FPA), Search-and-Rescue (SAR), natural disaster relief (FEMA), military working dogs (MWD), and multipurpose canines (MPC). Operational K9s have proven to be an asset in the military, law enforcement, SAR, and humanitarian operations through rigorous funding and training. Their effective support in fighting terrorism, military operations, law enforcement, and disaster relief in the past decade has increased the demand for OpK9s. The international increase and utilization of OpK9s have subjected them to an increased risk of injury and even death, while serving us in the line of duty.
Secondary Research:
There is a gap in pre-hospital trauma care for operational canines due to the lack of standardized guidelines, funding, training, logistical resources, research, etc. Tourniquets have been used by humans to decrease the risk of amputation and even death; 
Tourniquets have the potential to save the life of these loyal and dedicated canines before reaching further veterinarian assistance.
Tourniquets Currently used on OpK9s:

Combat Application Tourniquet (C-A-T)

SOF Tactical Tourniquet-Wide (SOFTT-Wide)

Stretch Wrap and Tuck tourniquet (SWAT-T)

Rapid Application Tourniquet (RATS)

Problem Statement:
Research and interviews with experts and canine handlers have shown that tourniquets currently used on operational canines are not effective because they are designed for humans and do not match the anatomy of their tapered front and rear legs. The hardest challenge is designing a tourniquet that can stabilize and secure their front and rear legs.
It must be:
• Quick
• Simple
• Accessible
• Adjustable
• Controllable
• Self-Locking
• Understandable
• Universal
• Durable
• Flexible
Designing for m2inc:

I was approached to design the Canine Tourniquet (K9-T) for m2inc using their Ratcheting Medical Tourniquet (RMT) technology currently used by the military, LE, Emergency Medical Service (EMS), and civilians. 
The RMT is more intuitive than the windlass systems (rotation rod) utilized in the C-A-T and SOFT-T because the buckle makes a “click” sound when activated and is self-locking. The buckle has been extensively tested and is very durable. The strap can be flexible to fit a dog's tapered leg and the webbing meets military specs. It has been ranked one of the top in performance by Naval Sea Systems Command, meets ISO 9001 Quality Assurance, European Conformity, recommended by the department of defense (COTCCC), and has won various other awards.
sing military-grade webbing, I designed an Anchor Strap to stabilize and secure the tourniquet. The anchor will be slipped up the leg opposing the injury and tightened using the Width Strap. The Back Strap attaches the anchor to the RMT with a rivet and is placed over the K9’s back.
The RMT is slipped up the injured leg and tightened using the Width Strap and then secured by ratcheting the buckle. The Length Strap is tightened to secure the K9-T. Ratchet the buckle one more time if necessary to achieve occlusion, or until the bleeding stops.
Second Prototype:
The second prototype worked the same way as the first but utilized the m2inc Receptor Buckle and strap to replace the Anchor Strap. This is beneficial due to the self-locking feature, stability, and durability because it is made of metal.
The RMT is slipped up the injured leg and tightened using the Width Strap and then secured by ratcheting the buckle. The Length Strap is tightened to secure the K9-T. Ratchet the buckle one more time if necessary to achieve occlusion, or until the bleeding stops.
Prototype Testing:
Testing Results:

All prototypes were tested on both the front and rear legs of Sgt. Shawn Edward’s German Shepherd, Connor. It proved to be a difficult and time-consuming process to apply the anchor to the opposing leg and then the RMT. Connor was very hyperactive and Sgt. Edwards simply could not apply the anchor and the RMT. Sgt. Edwards was also skeptical about the anchor and back strap.
Time is crucial when attempting to stop blood flow during a life-threatening injury. It would be especially difficult to apply the anchor to a dog in a state of fear or stress in a real life-threatening situation.

Sgt. Shawn Edwards (seen right) and his German Shepherd, Connor, from the Monroe County Police Department in Rochester, NY attempted to test theK9-T prototypes.

New Approach:
I did more research on operational canines and decided to take a new approach to stabilize and secure the RMT. Most federally funded operational canines wear contracted K9 harnesses' which incorporate the MOLLE system. The Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE) is a standard on harnesses and other outwear worn by a variety of NATO organizations including the American military. The MOLLE system incorporates rows of 1” military-grade nylon webbing that allows for the attachment of various pouches and accessories.
I removed the “anchor” and decide to design around the harness’ using the MOLLE system on the right:
Third Prototype:
The new prototype used the same Military-grade nylon webbing and slip loc as the originals, but was attached to the molle using military-grade buttons
Initial Testing:
The new prototype was very effective because it was compact and followed the dog at all times. It was secured by the MOLLE harness, reducing material and overall costs. Initial testing proved the third prototype to be much more effective and efficient than the other prototypes; It was versatile because it could be applied to the front or rear legs on either side of the dog. But there were a few changes that had to be made.
Refinement: ​​​​​​​
Instruction Manual:
Instructional Video:
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