Archive for November, 2009
This lends a whole new meaning to the term housebreaking…
Most of the local outlets aren’t covering this, but Minneapolis KARE11 News is reporting on the “euthanasia” of a local police K-9:
At ten years of age, Felony was nearing the end of his K-9 career with the Howard Lake Police Department. It just wasn’t supposed to end like this.
On October 30th, one of Felony’s handlers found that the black labrador had escaped his kennel. He immediately called the Wright County Humane Society, who reported that they didn’t have the dog.
The County wasn’t aware that Felony had been picked up by a dog catcher working for the Animal Humane Society (AHS) not long after he escaped.
“Our officer contacted the Animal Humane Society shortly after contacting the dog catcher, said Chief Tracy Vetruba. “Unfortunately, at that time the dog catcher still had the dog, who he did not believe was our dog, and it ‘was’ our dog.”
Felony had somehow lost his license and rabies tags — and he had never been micro-chipped. Thinking that their original calls to Wright County Humane Society and Animal Humane Society were sufficient to alert them to the dog, the Howard Lake police did not make any follow-up phone calls. So, when he arrived at the Animal Humane Society Felony was placed on 5 day mandatory hold. During the hold time he was labeled as “dangerous and unadoptable” — so at the end of his hold time, the police dog was killed.
The Howard Lake Herald-Journal reported that the dog was described to AHS and Wright County as being a black labrador. Since he’s a working dog who’s almost eleven, Felony has a grey muzzle and paws — which reportedly made Kozitka believe he was not the “all black” K-9 he had just been asked to look for. Why he didn’t think it was important to notify the police department of any black labs or substantially black lab-like dogs he picked up on this particular day is beyond me. AHS skips out of the blame game by stating they have no record of calls from the police department providing a BOLO on Felony. I’d love to see their phone records for October…
KARE11 quotes Police Chief Tracy Vetruba:
“It’s kindof like the perfect storm of events coming together to result in a (sic)tradedy,” said Vetruba. “Our officers were devastated to learn that he was put down. He will absolutely be missed by our officers.”
I suppose a callous disregard for the life of a valuable police K-9 on the part of those whose jobs are (supposedly) to safeguard our community’s animals could be considered as part of a “perfect storm”. I just see it as blatant, cold-hearted callousness.
Howard Lake police say Felony had been with the force since 2002, after K-9 stints in Ortonville and Hector, and was responsible for more than $25,000 worth of seized drugs, cars and cash.
This dog spent his life serving the community. And he didn’t do it for a salary, benefits and a pension — he did his job for the pure joy of it. What a sad and pointless waste.
First I’m utterly gobsmacked that the City of Howard Lake couldn’t find the time or money to microchip a $5,000 police K-9. Second, as dog owning (and tax paying) resident of Minnesota, I’m also deeply troubled by the callous attitude taken by Wright County dog catcher Wayne Kozitka and AHS. If they make so little effort to identify and return a valuable local police K-9 that they’ve specifically been asked to look for — what kind of treatment can an average pet owner expect?
We’ve blogged here before about AHS’s disturbingly high kill rates. I couldn’t find information on their website about the methods AHS uses to assess the adoptability of dogs in their care, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find that they use some version of Susan Sternberg’s test. Sternberg’s Asses-A-Pet program recommends testing a dog for “food aggression” by poking it with a fake hand while it’s eating. A picture of one of these hands is shown below – next to a picture of the kind of bite sleeve commonly used to train police K-9s.
Take a good, long look at those two pictures and tell me how shocked you’d be to find that a shelter stressed dog who has had any protection training might take one look at the item on the left and confuse it for the one on the right. And then explain to me how a group who was specifically asked to be on the lookout for a lost black labrador who is a police K-9 doesn’t think to contact them when a short-coated black dog who likes to bite sleeves is seized the day after the loss is reported (oh, thats right – they never got the message [head-desk]).
Felony gave his life for his community. Instead of dying a heroic death during a drug raid or tracking down a violent criminal – he died a sad and pointless death alone in a shelter death room. Instead of being lauded as a hero, he’ll be mourned as a “mistake”. …it breaks my heart…
To help protect these wonderful, valuable, four-legged public servants from similar pointless cluster fucks mishaps in the future, Midwest Animal Rescue & Services has offered free micro-chipping and registration for police dogs across the Twin Cities metro area. Show them a little love.
Photo courtesy sedges_have_edges of Flickr.com under Creative Commons license
Clink link for large photo
Dogs doing chemistry! I love the idea – and while I probably shouldn’t be (because after all, they are just dogs) I have to admit that I am just a wee bit disappointed that they appear to be doing it wrong….
I suspect that this intrepid, alchemical pack of golden retrievers was trying to create oxygen. An oxygen atom has eight protons, eight neutrons and eight electrons. What they appear to have created instead is an incredibly rare beryllium anion with four protons, four neutrons and six electrons.
If you’re wondering how I can tell what atom they’re creating, the answer is in the protons. The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom determines what element it is. If alchemists had figured out how add or subtract protons from atomic nuclei, they’d have solved the problem of transmutation.
Unfortunately for alchemists (but fortunately for those of us who depend on the laws of atomic physics to exist), it’s incredibly difficult to add or subtract protons from atomic nuclei. But electrons aren’t as loyal as protons. They move around between orbitals, ions, atoms and molecules with varying levels of ease, and only stick around when atomic forces, well – force them to.
An oxygen atom has eight protons in its nucleus so in its neutral, or zero valence state, it also has eight electrons. A beryllium atom has four protons in its nucleus and in its neutral or zero valence state, four electrons. Either atom can have a varying number of neutrons with the number present determining which isotope one is dealing with.
If you watch carefully you’ll see that the atom that these bright (rather than erudite) dogs have created appears to have four protons, four neutrons and six electrons. If it has four protons, the atom must be beryllium — it can’t be anything else. Giving it six electrons instead of the four needed to balance the charge of the four protons in the nucleus adds two negative charges to create Be-2 — an ion that exists only in the laboratory and the imagination of sixteen, beautiful, obedient dogs with a stunning (though somewhat flawed) grasp of chemistry.
(does anyone else find it ironic that the theme music for the video is “Can’t be Wrong”)
Charlie had his first veterinary appointment today. While he will cheerfully allow me to handle him any way I like, being handled by strangers is still a completely different story. So I brought him in by himself (I usually bring the dogs in as a pack, as they’re all very easy to handle). And I brought a muzzle.
The spectre of young Charlie wearing this lovely bit of apparel, along with the blinkless stare and completely even, 60 bpm pulse rate he maintained throughout the examination earned him the charming new nickname.
I’ll admit that the little shit looked astonishingly evil, even to me. When I took him back out to the van I left the muzzle on until I got him into the crate. Once he was safely inside, I slipped the muzzle off and shut the crate door in a single swift move (I may be a gimp, but I can still move pretty darn quickly when I need to). Once the door was closed, I was surprised – and quite pleased – to see a soft, happy, wiggly puppy on the other side. I opened the door back up and the vicious killer my happy puppy greeted me with a wagging tail and a flurry of soft, sloppy kisses.
I am so glad I spent all that time getting him used to wearing the muzzle.
Once we returned home, Charlie released his stress by viciously attacking wrestling with Audie.
It’s another football Sunday [sigh]. Honey, this one’s for you –